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The Musician's Daughter
The Musician's Daughter
by Susanne Dunlap

Music and murder in 18th century Vienna: a daughter's perspective   
Fifteen year old Theresa Maria Schurman awakens from a nightmare relieved yet, the reality that faces her is much worse --- three unknown hooded men have brought a large sack into their home. Her father lies dead on the floor.Torn apart by grief and and the need to protect her unborn child, Theresa Maria's mother seems unable to provide the reassurances or financial needs caused by her sudden widowhood. When Theresa Maria realizes that her father's violin is missing, the very violin that might ease the financial pressures, she sets out to find the violin and solve the increasingly mysterious circumstances surrounding her father's death. Hired by Haydn as violinist to Prince Nicholas Esterhazy's court and a man for whom music was his life, her father never would have left his violin behind. Theresa Maria's quest for clues takes her to the courts of Vienna's family, to gypsy camps and other aspects of 18th century Vienna and Austrian society where danger, blackmail, friendships and even family are not all that they seem on the surface.

Susanne Dunlap's THE MUSICIAN'S DAUGHTER combines history, music and mystery in a young adult historical novel that will grab readers from start to finish. Told through the eyes of the musician's young daughter, THE MUSICIAN'S DAUGHTER takes the reader right into the immediacy of the mystery and the historical setting with a freshness and vibrancy that will appeal to modern young readers. Maria Theresa is intelligent, courageous and imbued with a sense of honor and compassion for others that allows her to see below the surface. Friendship outside her immediate circle, the hint of a first love, a growing devotion to music all add a rich dimension to her character. Susanne Dunlop gives readers a wonderful insight into the musical background of this novel, not only in the historical details but also in Maria's descriptions of the instruments and sounds of the music itself. The mystery itself intrigues as several exciting twists and turns lead to a dramatic encounter in which Theresa Maria herself meets new challenges that test her and all that she has learned from her father. As Maria Theresa's journey for clues takes her on a journey through the lavish royal courts and the not so rich gypsy camps, she also comes to know her father better and indeed herself. As Maria Theresa journeys outward in an intriguing look at society, she also looks inward and discovers her own self in a tale that moves the reader's emotions. THE MUSICIAN'S DAUGHTER is a beautiful, moving growing of age tale of one 18th century girl who will steal the hearts of young adults and a few adults (myself included) as well!

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (December 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Review Courtesy of Amazon Vine
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