Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

Vienna Nocturne, by Vivien Shotwell

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Review of Vienna Nocturne by Vivien ShotwellA nocturne is a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night. And while Shotwell’s novel has a romantic cover, all lace and gold, it has pretty disturbing passages as well, and the title should’ve forewarned me of that. Still, to have bodice-ripping scenes in a novel about a serious subject like 18th century opera was a bit unexpected. Fortunately, the novel has many moments where the author’s knowledge of music and opera allows her to write genuinely heartfelt and lyrical descriptions of music and its effects on both listeners and performers. (Continue reading…)

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