Book Review: The Musician's Daughter

The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap
Click on the cover to find a library copy.

SUMMARY: Amid the glitter and glamour of musical and court life in 18th century Vienna, fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria Shurman is trying to solve a brutal mystery. Who killed her father, an acclaimed violinist, and stole his valuable Amati violin? When Haydn himself offers her a position as his assistant, it gives Theresa access to life in the palace–and to a world of deceit. Theresa uncovers blackmail and extortion even as she discovers courage and honor in unexpected places: from a Gypsy camp on the banks of the Danube, to the rarefied life of the imperial family. And she feels the stirrings of a first, tentative love for someone who is as deeply involved in the mystery as she is. (from the Amazon.com Product Description)

OPINION: Theresa lives in comfort, if not style, until the day her musician father is murdered. Left with just her very pregnant mother and a younger brother, Theresa realizes that they have no money and little future without him. Theresa is duty-bound to hold her family together by making an advantageous marriage, but puts everything at risk to pursue the mystery of her father's death. The complicated political situation that emerges does threaten to overwhelm the story at times. I think it would have helped to know more about the geography and politics of the time to really understand the plot that Theresa uncovers. Nonetheless, you don't have to be a student of history to enjoy this story. With descriptions of clothes and court life, plenty of heart-pounding narrow escapes, and just a hint of romance, this book is a quick read. I recommend it for middle and high school girls who like their historical fiction on the light side.


Susanne said...

Is this Upper Darby PA? If it is, I'm the author, and I was actually born there! Even though I grew up in Buffalo, NY. Just thought I'd let you know!

Gretchen said...

it is! what a fun connection! thanks for commenting. i have anastasia's secret on my shelf to read soon...