Martino's romantic read features lovable characters and is vibrant in setting and detail. . . . The book is filled with rich depictions of houses and clothing, allowing readers to clearly picture the historical settings of both Milan and the countryside. The attraction between Emilia and Antonio is sweet and innocent, and readers will hope for their relationship to blossom. All in all, Martino's latest is a sweet and pleasurable read.
Martino explores the gilded passageways of Hapsburg-era Milan's white aristocracy with technically accomplished descriptions of privilege, luxury,and teenage longing.
Playing by Heart is a lyrical story that captures the reader from the first page. Authentic, strong character voice, rich and detailed historical setting, and an intriguing plot all come together to create a can't-put-it-down book. The novel provides a look into the fascinating world of 18th-century Italy in a way that no history book ever could. The fact that it is based on the lives of extraordinary real women who were quite ahead of their time makes it a must-read addition for school libraries everywhere.
--Roxanne F. Owens, PhD, Chair, Teacher Education, DePaul University
The story of sisters Emilia and Maria Salvini is riveting, rich, and like a lovely piece of music, impossible to forget.
--Louise Hawes, author of The Language of Stars and The Vanishing Point
A virtuoso performance by Carmela Martino. You'll love Emilia Salvini in her impossible quest to be herself at a time and place when girls had no choices.
--Mary Jane Beaufrand, Edgar Award honoree and author of Primavera and Useless Bay
About the Author
Carmela Martino is an author, speaker, and writing teacher who lives in the Chicago area. She wrote the middle-grade novel, Rosa, Sola
, while working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. The novel was named a Booklist
"Top Ten First Novel for Youth" and won a Catholic Press Association award in the Children's Books category. Her other credits for children and teens include short stories and poems in magazines and anthologies. Her articles for adults have appeared in such publications as the Chicago Tribune
, Catholic Parent
, Writer's Digest
, and multiple editions of the annual Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market
. Carmela has taught writing workshops for children and adults since 1998, and she blogs about teaching and writing at TeachingAuthors.com. You can read more about her at carmelamartino.com and follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/carmelamartinoauthor.