In Mozart’s Shadow by Carolyn Meyer

I hate to say this….but this book took me forever to read. And even though it took me forever to read…I still liked it. Funny, isn’t it? I don’t think I was in the mood to read an historical fiction novel. Who knows?

Anyway…I’ll keep this short and sweet. Basically this is about Nannerl, Wolfgang Mozart’s older sister. At least it is from her perspective. We get to know how well of a musician she is and how unfair it was for her as a woman, not to be able to live the life of a musician like she so badly wanted. We see all the jealousy that this brings, because Wolfgang or Wolferl, his childhood nickname, goes from being a child prodigy and becomes one of the most sought after musicians in Europe. Nannerl is left behind and falls in love with an older man, Armand, that her father disapproves of. She is forced to only be friends with Armand, because without her father’s approval they are not allowed to marry in that society. She then meets another man, sorry I forgot his name, and with him comes his 5 children. The children are unruly and life for Nannerl is hell. She wishes to become pregnant so that she can have someone that loves her unconditionally. Her wish finally comes true and she is graced with a boy. She gives birth to the boy in her families house and is talked into leaving him with her father. It is months before she is able to see him again. She sees the love and devotion both her father and son have for each other and she chooses to leave her son with her father again. This lasts for a short period of time, until her father dies. Nannerl ends up having another child after several more die not long after birth. She survives both her parents and Wolfgang.


In this story woven from a females perspective in the mid to late 1700s, we get to witness what it was like for Mozart’s sister Nannerl. Although throughout her life she is faced with disappointment and jealousy, she survives as a strong woman.

I enjoyed hearing a different side of this story. At points it did drag a little with all the historical facts and figures, but was interesting to read about.