Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub. Date: December 15, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars


A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d'Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family's palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana's father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice's patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana's marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana's own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana's life, Alyssa Palombo's The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

Secret trysts. Lovers. Music. Betrayal. And the forbidden love of a priest and girl. The Violinist of Venice isn't anywhere near what I thought it would be. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect which is why I chose to review it. I like Vivaldi' music so I thought, why not? This could be interesting. It was a little more than interesting. There are pages and pages of beautiful description, whether it be Venice or music, it was absolutely lovely. 

Adrianna loves playing the violin but her father forbids her from her one and only passion. In turn, she seeks out Antonio Vivaldi for secret violin lessons. What starts off as innocent lessons, turns into a beautiful affair filled with so much love and passion. But since Adrianna has a strict father intent on finding her a wealthy husband, Adrianna and Vivaldi know they are on borrowed time. The more the world tries to pull them apart, the more they cling on to each other. 

Also vying for our dear Adrianna's hand is very prominent young boy who's both charming and comes from a very promising family. But Adrianna can't give her whole heart to him due to the fact that she's in love with one and one alone. I'm not going to lie, I found this book hauntingly beautiful but majorly depressing. Women were treated so badly back then and it just makes me appreciate living in present day America where I am free to have a voice. I'm free to choose whom I love, the profession I want to do...

Adrianna didn't have those choices. They were all taken away from her the moment she was born. I want to stomp my feet and cry out about how unfair it all was. Having to sneak around with the one you love can be thrilling for a time. But what happens when you don't want to hide anymore? Or worse, what happens when you have to give that person up in order to fill family obligations. Such as marrying a man who you don't love. Sure, you could grow to love them but it would never be the same as if you got to choose for yourself. 

I really didn't expect to read such a profound and engaging story. It's bittersweet, it gorgeously told, and the research the author to get everything right is so amazing to me. I felt like I was in Venice. Overall, this is a book for all music lovers and historical romance fans. The book will make you feel so many different kind of emotions and I guarantee you that you won't be able to put this down. 

*Thank you the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy the BOOK!

About the Author:
My name is Alyssa Palombo, and I am a writer living and working in Buffalo, NY. My debut novel, The Violinist of Venice, will be out on December 15th, 2015 from St. Martin’s Press. I am represented by Brianne Johnson of Writer’s House.

You can follow me at Twitter at @AlyssInWnderlnd.


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