Monday, June 13, 2011

Hidden Voices by Pat Lowery Collins

Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice

Hidden Voices is the tale of Anetta, Luisa and Rosalba, three orphaned girls; their desires, their failures and successes give life anew to Venice and the music of Antonio Vivaldi.

This book is filled with the power of young love, passion and music. Because of Mrs. Collins’ deft characterization skill, as well as my own musical background, I had a hard time putting it down.

The three girls, Anetta, Luisa, Rosalba and several of the lesser characters are written with such telling, pointed dialogue and actions that there was no one in this book who didn’t “pop” into real life. Just as important, Baroque Venice also comes alive. See the Punchinello plays, Carnival, the Commedia dell’Arte, consume fritelle and Italy with these girls.  Viva Italia.

Was the book perfect? Perhaps not if one prefers a straight forward, genre-esque plot. There’s no need to save the world or even Venice in “Hidden Voices.”  I do not want to give any spoilers, so I will simply say that the hope of requited love is stretched throughout the book for all three characters, though happy ever after is never the point.

Read Hidden Voices and witness a vibrant culture that’s not normally the focus of historical novels. You won’t be sorry, and when you leave this book behind, you’ll say, as I did, “Brava, Maestra. Brava.”

To win a copy of Hidden Voices, please leave a comment. The winner will be chosen June 15th.