Playing by Heart

 
4.0
 
5.0 (2)
819   1
Write Review
Playing by Heart
Publisher Name
Vinspire Publishing
Age Group
12+
Published Date
September 30, 2017
ISBN Number
978-1546799450
ASIN Number
      
Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the “second sister” means she’ll likely be sent to a convent instead. Emilia’s only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father’s quest for nobility. First, though, she must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. Too late, Emilia realizes that her success could threaten not only her dreams for her future but her sister’s very life.

Playing by Heart is inspired by two amazing sisters who were far ahead of their time—one a mathematician and the other a composer. At its core, the novel is the story of two teens struggling to follow their true calling, even when it conflicts with their father’s goals.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Plot/Story 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0  (1)
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Plot/Story 
 
4.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
4.0

An interesting story

The Story:
Emilia is a young woman in Milan who has become somewhat of a musical prodigy. She's a composer as well as being adept at the harpsichord. She's also the second oldest daughter in a family with many kids. Her father has dedicated his life to gaining a noble title and wants to marry two of his daughters to noblemen. The problem? Emilia's older sister desires to become and nun and Emilia herself has already found the man she wants to marry and he has nothing to his name. This is the story of two sister navigating a world in which women weren't supposed to have minds of their own.

What I liked:
I learned so much in this story about music and like in 18th century Milan. It was a fascinating read. The writing flows easily and Emilia is such a strong, wonderful character. She's willing to sacrifice her own happiness for that of her sister. She's endearing and brave. It was a pleasure to read about her.

What was just okay:
The book is young. Much younger than I'd imagined when seeing the cover. Emilia is 13 when the story begins, putting it almost in to MG territory, yet she speaks as if she's much older. It was sort of an odd disconnect.

Final Verdict:
This story is a pleasure to read. There's no lack of characters to root for or interesting scenes to lose yourself in.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (2)
Plot/Story 
 
5.0  (2)
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0  (1)
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Editing/Design Quality 
 
N/A

Spellbinding

This beautifully written Young Adult novel centers around the strong faith of two sisters, Emilia and Maria, and their extraordinary talents. The book is set in 18th Century Milan, Italy and focuses on their relationships with their father, as well as their struggle to follow the paths they believe God wants them to take. Unfortunately, they lived in a time when young women were subject to their father’s wishes. And their father hoped to showcase their incredible gifts to advance himself to nobility and was not interested in their desires.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and loved her writing style. In fact, the moment I finished the book, I read her first novel Rosa Sola, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. Her beautiful descriptions bring her books to life. I found the passages describing Emilia’s music particularly lovely. The author does a wonderful job of showing society and culture of 18th century Italy. This time period makes for a very interesting book, especially for young women, to see the choices and educational opportunities available to girls their age at that time in history.
This book highlights something that’s near and dear to my heart – that we all have gifts from God and we should find ways to use these gifts to help others. I loved that these young women knew their talents were from God and they longed to use them in a positive way. I also really liked the underlying passages of jealousy. This is something we all can relate to, feeling envious of another’s successes. How Emilia deals with this and works through it is a wonderful example for readers to emulate.
This historic fiction, inspired by two real sisters who lived in 18th Century Italy, would make a fantastic bookclub or classroom choice, full of many great topics for discussion.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Plot/Story 
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Editing/Design Quality 
 
5.0

A beautiful, moving story!

This is a beautiful piece of historical fiction, set in 18th century Milan. The main character is a musician, and it was fascinating to watch her talents and opportunities unfold, especially during a time when the education of young women was considered unnecessary. Like her lovely compositions, I was moved by the story and the superb writing. The details were so well-researched, I never once felt anything but totally immersed in the time and place. If you like historical fiction about strong young women, I highly recommend this book! Finishing this book gave me the same satisfied feeling as listening to a brilliant concert!

Good Points
Beautiful story, wonderful characters inspired by historical sisters, fantastic details
Was this review helpful to you? 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Every Stolen Breath
The Swarm is unrecognizable, untraceable, and unpredictable—random attacks on the...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cursed Beauty
Aurora Rose Brynhild is out of time. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The C Word
Addison: Secrets have a way of getting out....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Aphelion
Ky isn’t your typical seventeen-year-old girl. She's an alien hunter.Ky...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Announcing Trouble
I may know everything there is to know about baseball,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seneca Lake
It's 1944, and high school senior Meg Michaels has always...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freshman Witch
Of course, magic is real. Everybody knows that. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sarai and The Around The World Fair
When Sarai outgrows her bike, she worries she'll never get...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Of Beast and Beauty
7 vengeful sisters 7 fairytale kingdoms 7 daughters...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Pepper Party Picks The Perfect Pet (The Pepper Party, #1)
Meet the Peppers. Funny runs in the family....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dylan’s parents were taken from her in a terrible crash...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dirt
Things are hard for eleven-year-old Yonder. Her mother died and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gen One
Generations after robots conquered Earth, the remaining population survives in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Darknessontheedgeoftown.jpg
Chief Jim Hopper reveals long-awaited secrets to Eleven about his...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
SupermanDawnbreaker.jpg
When the dawn breaks, a hero rises. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Moon Water: A Novel
Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the summer of...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Sarai and The Around The World Fair
 
3.0
"Though rich and vibrant in illustrations and culture, Sarai and the Around the World Fair is a slow-mover. ..."
The Pepper Party Picks The Perfect Pet (The Pepper Party, #1)
 
5.0
"Absolute fun is one way to summarize The Pepper Party Picks the Perfect Pet. Perfectly placed and brilliant illustrations helped..."
Dirt
 
4.0
"After Yonder's mom dies, she and her dad are struck with grief and have trouble picking up the pieces. It..."
Where the Heart Is
 
5.0
"The start of thirteen-year-old Rachel’s summer doesn’t go as she planned. Tensions are high at her home and she knows..."
Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)
 
4.0
"'Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)' by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ted Young, is..."
Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights
 
4.0
"PROFESSOR RENOIR'S COLLECTION OF ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND DELIGHTS primarily follows Babe, a fourteen-year-old girl who has gigantism. She already stands..."
Truman
 
5.0
"TRUMAN is an unbelievably sweet story about a tortoise. Truman the tortoise lives with his best friend and owner Sarah,..."
The Day the Universe Exploded My Head: Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
 
4.0
"THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD features cartoony planets and drawings along with poems on each page. Topical, clever,..."
Fallen Empires (Cleopatra in Space #5)
 
3.5
"I'm a huge fan of graphic novels and this series is one that is sure to appeal to those who..."
Carnival Catastrophe (The Problim Children, #2)
 
4.0
"CARNIVAL CATASTROPHE follows the seven Problim children as they continue their search for their mother. The seven siblings must work..."
Big Red School (Clifford)
 
5.0
"CLIFFORD: BIG RED SCHOOL follows Emily Elizabeth and Clifford as they create a special school just for Clifford. Clifford loves..."
I Got Next
 
4.0
"I GOT NEXT is a picture book about self-confidence. A boy encourages himself to challenge the other kids who are..."
A Friend for Bently
 
4.0
"A FRIEND FOR BENTLY is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship. Bently is the only pig on the farm..."
The Great Pumpkin Contest
 
5.0
"THE GREAT PUMPKIN CONTEST is a sweet and fun read about friendship. Mimi and her neighbor Clara are each entering..."
Save Your Friends!
 
3.5
"SAVE YOUR FRIENDS! is a simple, interactive story told in speech bubbles. The shark is about to eat your friends,..."
Dibs!
 
5.0
"DIBS! is a story about brotherhood. Julian constantly calls dibs on toys and snacks from his younger brother Clancy. Clancy..."
Where Are You From?
 
5.0
"WHERE ARE YOU FROM? is a stunning celebration of heritage/ancestry as well as an acknowledgment of the unnecessary question. A..."
Out of Place
 
5.0
"OUT OF PLACE is an absolutely gorgeous story about bullying and feeling alone. Cove lives with her mother on Martha’s..."
The Startup Squad (The Startup Squad, #1)
 
3.0
"THE STARTUP SQUAD follows primarily Theresa (Resa) as she and a group of three other girls compete in a contest..."
A Possibility of Whales
 
4.0
"THE POSSIBILITY OF WHALES is a middle grade contemporary story that deals with a lot. Natalia Rose (Nat) is almost..."