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Playing By Heart Paperback – September 11, 2017
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Martino explores the gilded passageways of Hapsburg-era Milan's white aristocracy with technically accomplished descriptions of privilege, luxury,and teenage longing.
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.
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Top customer reviews
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This is the first book I’ve read by this author and loved her writing style, full of beautiful descriptions. The passages describing Emilia’s music were particularly lovely. The time period makes for a very interesting book, especially for young women, to see the choices and educational opportunities available to girls their age at that time. The author does a wonderful job of showing society and culture of 18th century Italy.
This book highlights something that’s near and dear to my heart – that we all have gifts from God and we should find a way to use these gifts to help others. I loved that these young women knew their talents were from God and they longed to use them in a positive way. I also really liked the underlying passages of jealousy. This is something we all can relate to, feeling envious of another’s successes. How Emilia deals with this and works through it is a wonderful example for readers to emulate.
I was given a copy of this book for my honest review and wholeheartedly believe this historic fiction, inspired by two real sisters who lived in 18th Century Italy, would make a fantastic bookclub or classroom choice, full of many great topics for discussion.
Second, I love that this story is based (albeit loosely) on two real-life sisters, and that the author works historical events into the story. For example, she includes an actual visit that the Archduchess Maria Teresa made to Milan at that time and makes it fit perfectly with the tale of these two sisters.
Third, I love that this story shows a little "girl power" at a time when girls had little power over their own lives. It's true that their father is using them for his own gains, but the girls are well educated and trained at a time when most were only taught "housekeeping" skills.
Finally, who doesn't enjoy a sweet romance with a quiet but handsome young man and a beautiful and talented girl who is up for the challenge of proving herself worthy?
Playing by Heart is a beautifully composed tale of love, faith, and family!
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