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Émilie's Voice

3.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  208 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Set against the backdrop of Paris and the court of Versailles, Émilie's Voice introduces a young heroine of modest upbringing who possesses a special gift: the voice of an angel. When distinguished composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier hears Émilie's voice, he offers to instruct her in the art of singing with the ultimate goal of presenting her at the court of Louis XIV. Her h ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Touchstone (first published 2005)
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Symphony by Jude MorganMarrying Mozart by Stephanie CowellVivaldi's Virgins by Barbara QuickThe Four Seasons by Laurel CoronaThe Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo
Music in Historical Fiction
12th out of 46 books — 16 voters
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasThe Three Musketeers by Alexandre DumasSpirit of Lost Angels by Liza PerratA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensThe Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot
Historical Fiction - France
230th out of 321 books — 201 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 651)
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”Those who wish to sing, will always find a song.”

Setting:Paris and Versailles, France; 1676

Coverly Love?:No. Sure, it does look vaguely historical, but I would have loved to see more of the face, of you know what I mean.

”’Poor child, you really are naïve. Don’t you know what power you wield? All that beauty, and that voice as well. You could have anything you wanted.”
Émilie Jolicoeur has the voice of an angel that makes the hardest of hearts melt and inspires awe for those who hear he
Cindy Weatherford
I bought this book because it was on clearance at the bookstore, because it was a historical novel (which I love) and because it was about singing (which I also love). It's the story of a young girl in France with an amazing voice and how that changes her life. The first 9/10ths of the book were very interesting. I love learning how people lived in different time periods. There was a lot about the royal court at Versailles during the reign of King Louis the XIV. But the ending royally sucked. I ...more
Dec 29, 2010 Jac rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: I wouldn't
Recommended to Jac by: If I remember, they are going to get an earful
Out of everything, the setting was the best. I was not a fan of the first half of this book at all and the ending left me in tears. Charpentier was the only character who's emotions were poured out. Sophie was a revenge-happy whore, Emilie was as naive as they come, Lully was the worst secret-keeper the world has ever known, St. Paul was a glorified beggar, and Madeline (the protagonist's own mother) was appalling (not to mention selfish and materialistic)!

Everything that could have possibly gon
Aug 15, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
The author captures the politics and intrigue of the court of Versailles in the days of Louis XIV - the hangers-on and their greed in climbing the social ladder, giving no thought (or perhaps no care) as to how their actions will affect the people around them. Emilie's voice becomes the pawn in the game. The story feels somewhat contrived and the characters almost stereotypical, but the reader does get a good sense of the streets of 17th century Paris and the opulence of Versailles as well as th ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Only a person with outstanding knowledge of music, music history, and 17th century Paris could write a historical saga as entertaining and totally engrossing as Ms. Dunlap's EMILIE'S VOICE. Dunlap, the Director of Development for the Connecticut Opera, holds a PhD in Music History from Yale University. Her many years of teaching, writing about, and working in the world of music and opera have lent their unique voice to this superb debut novel.

By 1675, at the royal court of Versailles a few mile
Didn't like it at all, inappropriate for me to read in my opinion. I sopped reading as soon as one of the female characters gives herself up to prostitution, and adequate description to boot. That isn't my kind of historical fiction, sorry.
Nov 05, 2009 Carrie rated it it was amazing
This was a girls life that was typical of France where she tried to give her life direction but had little affect. I imagine that she was a wonderful singer that I would have enjoyed hearing.
I bought this book off the street mostly cause it had two of the things I love: music and French people ;)

The story was intriguing right from the beginning, although the peak of the story seemed to have come too early in the book. After such a big event, I felt like the book seemed to just wane. Then again, the fact that the thrilling parts were in the middle of the book sort of made it seem a bit more like real life.

Warning: If you're looking for a happy ending, you may not want to read this
Cathy Caldwell
Jul 01, 2014 Cathy Caldwell rated it it was ok
Very disappointed. Have read other books by Susanne Dunlap and enjoyed them, but perhaps this book fails because it is a first effort. I am a fast reader, but it took me a week to read this thin novel. I think she got too tied to history which made the names and locations confusing for someone who didn't study French. Also, I found the author's comments in the included interview annoying and not at all how I read the story. If that was what she thought the ending proved, she failed as a writer.
Aug 19, 2012 Carol rated it did not like it
I was terribly disappointed in this novel. It had such wonderful potential - set during the era of Louis XIV, the main character is a young girl with a beautiful voice and prodigious musical talent, Lully and Charpentier are also important characters, court intrigue, etc. Plus, the author has a PhD in music history from Yale. Yet Dunlap takes advantage of none of the huge potential in her story. Emilie turns out to be innocent and guileless to the point of being spineless. The plot has some twis ...more
Mar 26, 2009 Madeleine rated it did not like it
What starts out as an interesting premise and setting quickly turns into a predictable, sour story where the characters don't change and act like complete idiots. I found myself despising the main character for being such an absolute moron and bungling every situation. The motivations are unclear for most characters and the predictable plot moves so quickly that it doesn't even take advantage of the whimsical setting available. This book has no idea what it wants to be - is it a romance? Is it s ...more
Sacha Urban
Feb 10, 2015 Sacha Urban rated it really liked it
Well written. Give you an insight into courtly life. Sad, inspiring and romantic. A good read!
May 05, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at random at my local used book store. I really enjoyed much of it. It had romance, intrigue, and betrayal. The characters were developed pretty well and it flowed nicely. My only complaint is that it didn't really end as happily as I would have liked. I always like a happy ending. There also seemed to be some loose ends with Sophie and Emilie's parents. I don't remember reading what happened to them.
May 28, 2008 Adriana rated it liked it
Sweet book, very easy read. It follows a young girl with a beautiful voice who is discovered by an influential musician. This musician hears her sing while picking up a violin, Emilie's father has made for him. He takes her away and teaches her all that's right with song. He falls in love with her. But soon she is whisked away to the French Court of Francis and yadd, yadda,'s a good book.
Oct 06, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: light-read
This was a very light read, and unfortunately the substance of the book didn't match the surface appearance. But, I did enjoy the historical backdrop of Versailles and the music of that era. The author's knowledge of music history is apparent (she has a PhD from Yale) and I appreciated it, I just think there are better written novels out there.
Dec 05, 2015 Brenna rated it did not like it
I honestly couldn't get into it. I tried really hard to connect with the story and the characters but I felt something was missing. I think the base of the story has potential but other than that it was shortest book that took me the longest time to read.
Jul 21, 2009 Susann rated it did not like it
Contrived plot with weak character motivations. A quick enough read that I was willing to finish it, but not something I would recommend. Received in 8/08 BT book exchange in Ashland, OR.
Roze the emo-ish girl
Nov 14, 2009 Roze the emo-ish girl rated it it was ok
I'm more than half-way through...I liked it at the beginning...but it slowly started to suck a little...-sigh- thought I like the concept and all, too predictable for my taste...
Renee Yesso
Aug 21, 2011 Renee Yesso rated it really liked it
I really wish that goodreads allowed you to rate with half stars. I would give this book 3 1/2. It is interesting enough, about court intrigue at Versailles.
May 11, 2008 Megan rated it it was ok
I paid $1 for this book and a bookstore in SoHo. I got what I paid for. Fluff at the beginning, all the characters are frustrating by the end.
Sep 14, 2009 Junnie rated it it was ok
Entertaining but not too original... I'm almost embarrassed that I read this book.
Natalie Joy
Very bittersweet! Kind of surprised with all the adult material tho
E. Mitchell
Jul 28, 2010 E. Mitchell rated it liked it
I liked part of it, I thought the ending was terrible though.
Susan Scola
Sep 24, 2008 Susan Scola rated it it was amazing
Loved the historical context romance and suspense.
Jul 21, 2009 Lisa rated it did not like it
not a very good book, but fluffy and ok for the bus.
Feb 22, 2010 Lu added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good
Good; young singer in court of Versailles
Sep 20, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
The ending...but... NO!!!!!!
May 28, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it
Very good.
Jul 08, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
i really liked it.
Feb 28, 2010 Wendy rated it did not like it
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Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for the adult market (Emilie's Voice and Liszt's Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Three are for the young adult market (The Musician's Daughter, Anastasia's Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and the forthcoming The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in ...more
More about Susanne Dunlap...

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