Were you looking for a light frothy novel for a beach read? Well, this is not it…However if you want an engrossing, dramatic, over-the-top saga of love, desire, music, history, intrigue, war, fashion,politics and Life with a capital “L”… you have found your summer read! Set in Paris during the Second Empire, Queen of the Night unwinds the story of Lilliet Berne (one of the many names our heroine adopts in her checkered career), as she moves from mid-west American farm-girl, to circus bareback rider, to Parisian courtesan, to a job as a maid to the Empress Eugenie, and finally to become the toast of the European opera world. This novel is lush with description, packed with historical characters, and full of plot twists and turns. The story is not wrapped up in a neat package, it keeps you wondering and guessing, and turning the pages until the very end.
If this is your kind of story you might also like some of these titles, found elsewhere on our shelves:
Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice
Before she wrote about vampires, Anne Rice wrote meaty, exciting historical novels. This one is set in the world of 18th century Venice, among the “castrati” tenors, men who were idolized for their beautiful, haunting voices, but lost their manhood in the bargain.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Patchett’s rich story is about a group of party-goers taken hostage by terrorists in the Presidential Palace of a small South American country. Included in the group of hostages is a world-famous opera singer who was there to entertain the guests. Strange alliances form among the jailers and the captives, as the lines blur and relationships change.
Amadeus (a film) directed by Milos Foreman
The man who murdered Mozart? This film is based on Peter Schaffer’s award-winning play, and tells the story of Antonio Salieri, a second-rate composer in 18th century Vienna whose jealousy and hatred of his nemesis, Mozart, knows no bounds…