Finished Marrying Mozart today. It was enjoyable reading, but on the whole it was a little disappointing. It was the story of the four Weber sisters, one of whom becomes Mozart’s wife at the end of the novel. After the girls’ father dies, the sisters leave home one by one, mainly, supposedly, because of their mother, who has delusions that the girls can land rich husbands and schemes accordingly. Most of her scheming is so ineffectual, however, that it’s hard for the reader to feel much anger at the mother or to understand why the sisters feel so much antipathy toward her. She remains a very shadowy character on the whole. Likewise, I didn’t feel that I knew the sisters well enough. When they had various crises—dumping a fiancé, running off from home, getting involved with a married man—I didn’t get the sense that there was anything in that particular sister’s character that brought her to such a pass; rather, it seemed that any of the other sisters could have been in the same situation had she been at the right (wrong?) time and place. Mozart himself is a bit underdrawn—he shows some promise in one scene when he gets angry at his fiancée because she has let someone measure her leg (horrors!), but after only a few sentences his anger sputters out. He’s such a nice guy, in fact, that when one sister tries to get him to run off with her on the eve of his wedding to another, there’s no suspense because the reader doesn’t believe for an instant that he would be such a cad.
There are some nice parts about the book too, mind you, particularly the scenes between Mozart and Sophie and between the sisters in the first half of the book when they are all living together. Perhaps that’s one of the problems here—the author is good at depicting family life, especially the way four high-strung adolescent girls interact, but where there’s no family life to depict anymore, she falters.
Anyway, I’m back to Jean Plaidy with In the Shadow of the Crown (Bloody Mary).