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Mozart's Sister Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the shadow of her famous sibling, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, older sister Nannerl was perhaps no less talented but devoid of the opportunities of the time because of her sex and a controlling parent. At least this is the argument presented in this historical novel by Moser, author of numerous inspirational novels, including the Sister Circle series. As told by Nannerl in the first person, a demanding father channels his love and energies into his young son. Although Nannerl performs, her father denies her a chance at fame—and perhaps more important, the lion's share of his attention and love. He relentlessly tours Europe with his children, lying about their ages to make them seem like younger prodigies and exploiting them for large sums of money. Nannerl adores her father, but as she ages from a young adolescent into a woman, she seems numbingly resigned to a life of disappointment and frustration. As she moves into adulthood, more unhappy events occur, which are not quite satisfactorily developed in the novel's latter half. Moser's writing is smooth, and there are some fascinating historical details, but the story loses steam toward the end. That Nannerl's sad life is portrayed as the will of God will be difficult for many readers to accept. (Sept.)
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"...a heart-warming story of triumph... which will captivate the heart of even the most musically illiterate.... a treasure." -- April Gardner,

"...this book delivers an authentic and moving visit to another time and place." -- Violet Nesdoly,

"I often felt as if I was sitting and talking with Nannerl as opposed to simply reading about her life." -- Lori Graham,

"Moser inhabits her protagonist completely and does an exemplary job of giving voice to Nannerl's desires and frustrations." -- Lisa Respers France,

"Recommended for... fans of historical fiction, especially those who love music." -- Katie Hart, Christian Book

"Wonderful story, heartwrenching on several occasions, but thoroughly enjoyable." -- Michelle Sutton,

"beautifully written and thought provoking, the kind of story that compels us to take a deeper look at our faith." -- Cindy Mealer,

"guaranteed to make you appreciate the freedom we have in today's world." -- Diana Pederson,

An emotionally-charged read, this inspiring historical novel will be sure to please, especially the music lovers in the audience." -- Sherri Myers,

See all Editorial Reviews

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Best Books of the Month
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764201239
  • ASIN: B002U0KRNS
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,299,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty novels that focus on the characters discovering their unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories.

Nancy's newest book is "Love of the Summerfields". It's the first book in her new Manor House Series set in 1880 England. If you like Downton Abbey, you'll enjoy getting to know the Westons and their servants in Summerfield Manor.

Nancy's 2011 release "An Unlikely Suitor" was named to Booklist's "Top 10 Romance Novels of 2011". Both "An Unlikely Suitor" and "Masquerade" are set in the Gilded Age of New York City (see a book trailer for "Masquerade" below.) Nancy has also written four biographical novels, letting real women-of-history tell their life stories: "Just Jane" (Jane Austen), "Washington's Lady" (Martha Washington), "Mozart's Sister" (Nannerl Mozart), and "How Do I Love Thee?" (Elizabeth Barrett Browning). If you enjoy Civil War era stories, check out "The Journey of Josephine Cain" which showcases the building of the Transcontinental Railroad after the war, and the upcoming Christmas Civil War Anthology: "A Basket Brigade Christmas" with novellas by herself, Stephanie Grace Whitson, and Judith Miller.

Moser's contemporary books are known for their intricate plotting. Some titles are "John 3: 16", "The Sister Circle", "The Good Nearby", "Weave of the World, "The Seat Beside Me", and "The Invitation."

Her time-travel novel, "Time Lottery", won a Christy Award and "Washington's Lady" was a finalist.

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She's earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She offers a monologue of Martha Washington (in costume) letting Martha share her life story. She also gives "God's Gifts Workshops" around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique--humans included.

Find out more:
Author blog:
History blog:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By M. Rondeau VINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
The name of the great Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart, is well known but little has ever been revealed about his equally brilliant older sister Nannerl until now. Five years older than her six-year-old brother Wolfie, an indulgent father took them on a grand tour seeking the fame and fortune he insisted his `Wunderkind' child prodigies deserved. During the tour, Nannerl would see herself pushed to the side as her younger sibling stole the limelight with outrageous behavior and cute tricks. As they grew older the father's favoritism pushed Nannerl further into the shadows indulging and favoring the young precocious Wolfie.

Although steadfast in her love for her father Nannerl yearned for her chance at fame but resigned herself to disappointment then disillusionment of ever gaining the musical recognition so freely given to her brother. Life for Nannerl was not always fair and as she entered into adulthood and near spinsterhood happiness was still elusive until she chanced to fall in love. Nannerl's faith would be tested often throughout the years until finally coming to realize her place in the love of her family and God.

*** This is a beautifully written and well researched book that is extremely accurate based upon the prodigious amount of correspondence that Leopold Mozart (the father) insisted be kept. Told in the first person, it covers 30 years in the life of Mozart's sister who because of her sex and the times was never given the opportunity to shine. It portrays the father as a demanding task-master who indulged and directed his children's lives to their later detriment.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By K. VINE VOICE on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The idea of writing an historical novel based on the life of Nannerl Mozart is a wonderful one, that has the potential for a rich and exciting story, highlighting very human and still-relevant struggles. However, a "good idea" can only take you so far - if it is not executed well, it is nothing. Sadly, this is how I found "Mozart's Sister" to be. It has such great potential, and truly, parts of the novel ARE interesting enough to hold one's attention, and it is written by an author who possesses talent, but the majority of the book is utterly boring. I can understand & accept that most of her life probably WAS boring, and that in and of itself, given her immense talent, is an outstanding fact - but a reader doesn't want to read 200 pages about the boring years of her life! The latter third of the book I found to be quite interesting, and I wished that Moser had abbreviated the first portion of her novel, and expanded more on Nannerl's later life.

While it is rich with lavish historical details which were well-researched by the author, and follows the every day life of the lesser-known Mozart child fairly accurately, it simply hasn't got enough substance of plot to keep one hooked. It is a great book for learning about the Mozart family, but not for the entertainment purposes that I generally read novels for. So while the synopsis is beautiful, the novel was made painstakingly historically accurate, and the writing was of good quality, "Mozart's Sister" still missed the mark for me.

Grade: C+
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Heather Ivester on January 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
For all the music or historical fiction lovers on your gift list, Nancy Moser's exquisite novel will whisk them away to 18th-century Vienna. Did you even know Mozart had a sister? Six years his senior, Nannerl was every bit as talented as her precocious and highly acclaimed brother. Yet because she was a woman, she was overlooked by society, as well as her father.

The book is told from Nannerl's point of view and reads like a piece of music, with sections entitled "Prelude," "Overture," "Interlude," and more. The author's beautiful writing and detailed research give readers an intimate peek into the eccentric personalities who inhabit the Mozart home.

For those of us who do most of our traveling by armchair, Moser's dramatic tale is richly satisfying.

-- Christian Women Online Book Buzz
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
--excerpt from Mozart's Sister

Finally finding myself with Mama's full attention, I asked the question again. "What is my destiny, Mama?" To perform with your brother, becoming the greatest due in all musical hist--

Mama stroked my cheek. Her face lost its adamant edge and eased into a wistful smile. "You, my dear daughter, are destined to be a wife and mother. You will have many children and teach all of them to make music just as we have taught--"

I took a step back, shaking my head.

"You are upset?" Mama asked.

"I want to be a great musician like Wolfie. I want to compose and perform all over the world--with him."

"Even you brother will eventually need to find a paid position in a court. But paid musical positions are not available for women. Now, if you were a great singer, you might be able to sing in an opera..."

I felt the air go out of me...

"But it's not fair. Just because he's a boy and I'm a girl..."

Life was never fair for Nannerl Mozart. Possessing as much musical talent as her little brother Wolfgang, she was forced to sit idly in the shadows and endure the applause lavished upon him by the crown heads of every European nation. Dragged on tour around the globe, her talent and self-worth were at first stifled then altogether forgotten by those whose opinions mattered most. Ever the dutiful child and woman, Nannerl sacrificially gives way to Wolfie's fame and glory.

Even in love, she is thwarted, as plain, simple Nannerl is overlooked time and again. Yet she waits. Always waiting. Waiting for her shining moment, for her opportunity to make a name for herself. In the end, it is the noblest of callings in which she shines--that of wife and mother.
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