Tuesday, October 3, 2017

PLAYING BY HEART, by Carmela Martino

Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino
Published by Vinspire Publishing, LLC/Ingram 9/30/17
Genre: Young Adult Romance.
Review by H. Schussman (Author)
5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Reader’s Point of View:
Well, I’m certainly not a young adult, but I do enjoy YA novels. I prefer to read old literary classics or YA because I find them unencumbered with the modern twist on romance. This book fulfills both of these to perfection. The historical setting of Milan is secondary compared to the setting within the household of the Salvini’s. Some things are timeless, and Carmela Martino masterfully intertwines the teen angst with the beauty of music and science.

As a young adult, you will be drawn into the seeming hopelessness of Maria and Emilia’s fate. The desires of these brilliant girls are all but ignored. The family is torn by grief, yet they persevere. As you read you will find yourself hurriedly flipping the pages to find out if Emmi gets to marry her true love, and does Maria get to follow her calling to do something her father disdains.

The fashions, the palaces, even the hairdos of the nobility in 1700’s era Italy are fun and interesting. The gossipy nobles keep it light and entertaining. I love Milan, and have friends who are Milanese, so it was fun to read about things I’d seen in museums while visiting.

I highly recommend this book to adults also. It is a lovely read.

Writers POV:
Excellent book. It is geared toward the YA only in that it is about young adults. Otherwise it is written with sophisticated language. The sentence structure varies in length to fit the mood being portrayed. I felt Martino did a good job of making this a suspenseful romance… not because she is dropping sexual innuendos, but because she creates tension within the various couples. The father is well handled. I wanted to hate him, but he somehow seemed too human and conflicted to blame him for his selfish decisions. I’m glad she didn’t follow the real father of this historical family.

Clearly a lot of research went into this novel. The historical details aren’t shouted at the reader, but are delicately interwoven into the fabric of the story. Brava Carmela Martino!

1 comment:

  1. What a marvelous reviews, from both the reader's and writer's perspective! I’m honored that you think so highly of the novel. I especially like that you’ve been to Milan and could relate directly to some of the details. Mille grazie!