“Not all who wander are lost.” Juliet Waldron was baptized in the yellow spring of a small Ohio farm town. She earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Twenty-five years ago, after the kids left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for herself—and her readers—by researching herself into the Past. Mozart’s Wife won the 1st Independent e-Book Award. Genesee originally won the 2003 Epic Award for Best Historical, and she’s delighted that it’s available again from Books We Love. She enjoys cats, long hikes, history books and making messy gardens with native plants. She’s happy to ride behind her husband on his big “bucket list” sport bike.
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Mozart’s Wife by Juliet Waldron is a brilliant novel that weaves fact with fiction in the telling of what life with Mozart was like from his wife’s point of view. This novel is rich in historical detail and is one of those books to savor, not rush through. The writing is eloquent and the story intriguing. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Celeste Lawson and she does a great job. I think she has the perfect tone of voice for this type of story and for me she just really brought Mozart and Konstanze’s world to life for me.
Konstanze falls in love with Mozart from a young age when he begins courting her sister and when that doesn’t work out she’s secretly happy. In a family of girls Konstanze doesn’t shine as her sisters do so she’s surprised and thrilled when Mozart confesses that he loves her and can’t live without her in his always over dramatic way. They marry and that is really where this story explodes as it delves into the marriage of Konstanze and Mozart which is sometimes happy and sometimes in turmoil.
Life with Mozart is definitely not always an easy one. Mozart is constantly creating his music and spending his time out among the people – especially those with praise for him. Mozart though has a hard time saving any money and whenever he has any he spends it. For Konstanze with the household to maintain and kids to care for this is more often a nightmare than anything else. Many, many times the family is much to close to the poverty line with Mozart lending out money they don’t have.
Mozart was a man who just lived day to day; never planning. As well Mozart seemed to be quite often unfaithful to his wife. While Konstanze didn’t believe it at first soon enough she does and while she scolds him for his philandering ways she certainly never leaves him for it. More often than not though she finds herself pregnant and with having troubled births and children passing from disease childbirth has turned into something to be feared for her.
The research that went into this novel shines through on every page. I didn’t know anything about Mozart apart from his music before reading this book and I really appreciate the knowledge I’ve gained through this reading. More than that it is always interesting to see the lives of the people behind the one who is famous. It is because of Konstanze that Mozart’s music is still as popular today as it was then because she made sure it would be. Despite the troubles in her marriage she loved her husband and I found her a fascinating character to read about.
For readers of historical fiction Mozart’s Wife is an excellent choice and one I enjoyed a great deal!
Waldron has done a fine job at immersing the reader in the late 18th C. Austria. A fascinating look at the famous composer from the perspective of his wife, while also being her own tale. Waldron chose to use some of the more scandalous, unproven rumors as her part of the plot, which is certainly the difference between novels and biography.
Constanze is a strong woman who loves Mozart deeply but must learn to deal with his flirtatious nature (is he faithful?), his drinking and partying, and his constant overspending. The novel deals with the reality of a woman's life - talented and intelligent in her own right - where the double standard was exacerbated by the Mozart's choices.
Both characters are complex - I found myself admiring them, yet annoyed with them at time. The life of the Mozarts as a couple and the complex society they lived in was well presented with a good balance between the exposition necessary to render the world well and the action that moved the story. My favorite parts were the dialog between Mozart and Constanze because they were so different, yet loved each other despite all they faced.
Before reading Mozart's Wife, I knew nothing about the man behind the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A splendid example of what fifteen years of research can create, Ms. Waldron has done a magnificent job portraying the man through the person who probably knew him best, his wife, Konstanze.
Konstanze's story progresses from a starry-eyed girl's adoration of the man she loves to a mature woman's wisdom, and ultimately, early widowhood. Being married to a creative, eccentric genius is a bumpy road that leads her along the path of debt and infidelity. To complicate matters, she endures multiple pregnancies with only two children surviving. Grief draws the couple closer together, then later serves as a wedge driving them apart.
The only constant in their lives is Mozart's music. During lean years, Konstanze grows to wonder why he keeps writing what no one wants to hear. But Mozart in his dying words promises her that his music will take care of her and the children.
Mozart's Wife is a story of love, jealousy, grief, and most importantly--forgiveness. A fast-paced read, Ms. Waldron has exquisite, smooth-flowing prose. I found myself reading more on Mozart, which attests to how much I was swept into the 18th century and the life of perhaps the most creative composer of all time. Mozart's Wife is a must read for classical music lovers and historical readers alike.
Undoubtedly many would read this book based on their love of Mozart's music, along with perhaps some interest created by the movie Amadeus... and the portrait of his wife in the movie. This is an excellent read, hard to put down. And when you go to all the sources used by the author in creating this portrait, you certainly cannot doubt it's authenticity. One of the gleaming truths of the book is the reality of life that women lived in, during these periods in history. Pretty brutal. Not that the double standard is not alive and well today - and in fact in the last decade we seem to be going backwards in the area of human rights, with of course women's rights being at the forefront. The author did a stellar job of showing what life with a talented, albeit somewhat tormented person, can be like. And whether men would like her remarks about men's standards hardly would hold sway for most women. On one level or another, as women we have lived with some of these same realities. And, in my mind this in no way negates Mozart's extraordinary talents in the slightest.
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