Monday, March 6, 2017

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo
Published December 15, 2015
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
As most of you know, historical fiction really isn’t my forte but romance historical fiction? I can let that slide.  Mainly also because this book is about Vivaldi and he’s one of my favorite composers of all time.  That being said, I was quite excited to read about this great romance even though from the synopsis and the first chapter, I was getting the impression that it was going to be a sad one.  That didn’t deter me though and I still plowed through.  I’m happy to say that I actually really, really enjoyed this book.

I think I have a thing for heartache and whatnot because that was probably my favorite part of the book – knowing that Adriana and Antonio love each other but circumstances, life, the nuances of the 18th century Venetian lifestyle and social classes and just the usual ambition for success on Vivaldi’s part tore them apart from each other.  I also love the fact that this book spanned over 30 years of their lives so you can really see how that great love affair changed every bit of each other lives – mostly with Adriana since it follows her but when Antonio does show up, you can also see how that decision impacted him as well.

Even though I understand that there were some circumstances that forced them and in no way Adriana’s fault but a part of me resents and blames Vivaldi because he chose his career over love.  And I understand that at that time period, it must have been very different in terms of expectations but at the same time, I still resent/blame him just a little bit.  However, at the same time, I do understand his ambitions and decisions not only for himself but also for Adriana.  If they had eloped, they would have lived in perhaps squalor since she would be penniless and he with no job and would have come to resent each other later on in life.  At least with this decision, she was able to live in comfort, still maintain her Venetian reputation and social life and even produce more children who all share her passion.

I enjoyed reading about Adriana and her love for music.  She was so passionate about it to the point that sometimes I couldn’t understand her.  Sometimes I feel that she loved music more than she loved Vivaldi and that she only loved him because of his ability to compose beautiful music.  I also loved the fact that she was able to compose music as well.  That’s not a gift that should be taken likely and I’m glad that Vivaldi was able to showcase her music.

The one downer in this book was definitely Adriana’s father.  My god, he was a horrible man.  First of all, I’m shocked that no one said or did anything even though she would show up with bruises on her face, arms and everywhere.  Antonio was shocked when he saw her like that but did he do anything?  No.  Giuseppe, Adriana’s footman and then later something more, knew about it, saw the results and also didn’t do anything until the really end.  I was like, come on guys, really?  For two men that supposedly loved Adriana – one in a romantic way and the other in a brotherly way, how come neither of you did anything to stop it?  I was just glad that his ending was befitting of him.

Overall, fabulous book – I highly recommend it.   
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