Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Musician's Daughter

The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap (NY: Bloomsbury, 2009).

Fifteen-year-old Theresa lives in eighteenth century Vienna, the daughter of a court violinist and the goddaughter of the Kappelmeister, Franz Joseph Haydn. The discovery of her murdered father's body near the gypsy camp on Christmas Eve launches Theresa into a thrilling investigation as well as self-discovery. Dunlap magically recreates this long-ago world, its customs and mores, in a way that will delight readers, even those (like me!) not normally attracted to historical fiction. Theresa's relations with her mother and little brother as well as her father's fellow musicians are charmingly and realistically rendered, as are her dealings with her mother's sordid uncle, Theresa's would-be sponsor who has more nefarious ideas in mind for Theresa.

This is an excellent mystery adventure with a frisson of romance. Dunlap brings life and grace to the past. Recommended for grades 6 & up.

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