The one thing Adriana d’Amato truly loves is playing music. When her mother dies, her strict father forbids her to have anything more to do with it. Now eighteen, she refuses to let him stop her. She sneaks away at night to take violin lessons from Antonio Vivaldi, until those lessons turn into a passionate, forbidden affair. Vivaldi is a priest, and Adriana’s father is most insistent that she marry a wealthy man of importance. They both know the affair will end, but events unfold that force Vivaldi to decide between his music and his love. Both his and Adriana’s choices will have a lasting effect on both of their lives.
I’m almost left speechless. I read this book in two days, and at a little over 400 pages, that is saying something for me, as I tend to read more slowly. But I just devoured this book, and with good reason. It almost held a spell over me. I think, in part, it is because I played the violin for many years. I love Vivaldi’s music; Spring, from The Four Seasons, being one of my favorite classical pieces. I was drawn to this book just from the summary.
But premise alone doesn’t hold a reader. I knew a few pages in that I was already in love with Palombo’s writing. Her description of the canals and Adriana’s journey through the streets of Venice make you feel that you are there. Yet, what I loved even more was her description of the music. You feel, even though you can’t hear it, that you are listening to this music being played. Her description of the music itself, and the characters’ reactions to it, evoke the same emotions as if you were really listening to it.
Being a romance novel, there are scenes that some readers may not like. Those scenes, however, are described only briefly and in a way that is not vulgar. Some encounters are just mentioned in passing.
Love, longing, heartbreak… all of that is in this novel. I had to remind myself once or twice that this was speculative fiction, and not a true telling of Vivaldi’s life. It feels that real.
1) Overall Plot = 5
2) Characters = 5
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 5
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 5
5) Overall Enjoyability = 5
Average of score 5 out of 5