Jean Marie's Reviews > Vivaldi's Virgins

Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick
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's review
Mar 08, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction-italy-not-renais
Read from March 14 to 15, 2011

This was a beautiful, fast read about a young girl, an orphan in a convent who was one of the many musicians taught by the maestro Vivaldi. The novel tells of the narrator's, Anna Maria's, life and times growing up in such an institution and how her and her friends dealt with it all. Anna Maria's primary goal is to not only be a great violinist but to find out where she came from. Her search is seamlessly woven into the drama of the time, sneaking out of the convent walls, boys, and chaos among the nobility of the time.

The writing itself was lovely, fluid and dynamic. There wasn't any of those occassionally slipped through errors that can irk the crap out of the reader. I loved Quick's easy way of storytelling.

My only issue with the novel was the choppiness of the ending. We find out Anna Maria's past, where she comes from, but then the story begins to jump. Jump from a precarious revelation set on to her by Vivaldi himself to her own life as a music teacher. The ending was lovely, concluding it all well but its choppiness makes it feel rushed, which is my biggest pet peave in novels.

While this is not the most life changing read it certainly is worth the time and effort to read as it will sweep you into the world of cloistered musicians.
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