My Review of “Ecstasy” by Mary Sharratt
I loved everything about the Historical Fiction novel “Ecstasy” by Mary Sharratt. The timeline for this story is the turn of the century, when the various forms of the arts show changes. The story goes to the past and to the future when it pertains to the characters or events. The story takes place in Vienna, Austria, Europe, and and New York
Mary Sharratt describes her characters as complicated and complex. Many are talented and artistic in many ways. This is a time where passion can be seen in art, music, theater, opera and dance. There are a few courageous and brave women that are able to break through in the male dominated arts.
Alma Schindler has been brought up in a talented household. Her father was a famous painter, her stepfather is also an artist, and her mother was an opera singer. From an early childhood, Alma has played the piano. Her passion for composing music shows as she enters young adulthood. Alma turns many heads when she goes to the Opera house. Unfortunately, it is a time where a young woman is supposed to get married and have responsibilities with her family. Alma wants so much more. She wants to learn more about rhythm, counterpoint and wants to compose an opera.
Although Alma wants to compose, she also wants to love and be loved. How can Alma share her compassion for anything but music? Alma is impressed by Gustav Mahler, and soon becomes his wife. Gustav Mahler has made it clear, there is no place for Alma’s composing in their life together.
I appreciate the way that the author describes the feminist spirit in her writing. She also writes about the balance of being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and a composer. I would recommend this story for readers of Historical Fiction. I received an ARC for my honest review.