15 Dec 2015

ARC REVIEW: THE VIOLINIST OF VENICE: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo


Author: Alyssa Palombo
Source: Digital ARC via the Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Rating: 5/5 stars

A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d'Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family's palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana's father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice's patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana's marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana's own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana's life, Alyssa Palombo's The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This one was absolutely beautiful. The writing and tone was flawless, giving me the impression of it being 18th Century Venice while also telling me a love story that spans the test of time. I loved the musical aspects of this with the breakdown of how the music needed to be played and what both Adriana and Vivaldi wanted out of the music and the response they got from the instruments.

This was such a beautiful romance and I just ached for the two of them. But I was also glad to see Adriana grow and realize that while she could still love Vivaldi, she couldn't be with him in the way she wanted, meaning she had to move forward.

I thought how Palombo created the story could have been a very plausible explanation for Vivaldi's downfall and his interest in Anna. I would have liked a little bit more from him perspective or at least more updates on what he was doing in his life during the times when Adriana wanted to move forward and have nothing to do with him. But otherwise I enjoyed the pacing of this, I liked the slow build of their relationship to start out and that the consequences of their actions were shown and dealt with over the course of their lifetime.

This was just so beautiful and I cannot say enough good things about this. Thank you so much to St. Martin's Griffin for allowing me to read this one before it's release. I am just in awe of Palombo's writing and storytelling. I cannot wait to see what else she writes.


  1. I haven't been reading much so I had to pass up on this one but wow it sounds amazing!

  2. This sounds like one of those perfect romance novels! I love the idea of this one being a secret, forbidden affair and both members of the couple loving music. I want to try this one myself, and the cover is just lovely too!

  3. First of all, that cover is beautiful. Second of all, can I say how interesting this book sounds? I mean, I don't really do romance books, but this one just calls my soul and ah, it sounds so beautiful! I think I'll add this one to my tbr with hopes I can get it some day. Great review!

    ~L. @ Reading Against Time ♥


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