I'd been anticipating reading this book from my shelf for some time-I'm a sucker for stories of intrigue within the art world-in this case, the opera world. Lilliet Berne, a world-renowned singer with a rare and delicate Falcon voice, believes the secrets of her life to be discovered when a stranger presents her with a new opera, a story of her own life, in which she would originate the role, the greatest honor for an opera diva.
Lilliet runs through the options of who might have finally divulged her secret, telling her story with each of these characters in turn: as she says, one who loved her, one who owned her, one who is dead, and one she hopes never thinks of her at all. The language is lyrical, hypnotic, carefully crafted, and I laud the effort to mimic the narrative structures of a variety of opera throughout the course of the book. I was drawn deeper and deeper with fine details and the tremendous research of 19th-century Paris, its opera house, and major political players.
|All the world's a stage, and all the men and women |
merely players-that's what Lilliet would have us believe
|The many travails of a courtesan-|
This book reminded me a lot of
du Maurier's Mary Anne
In the end, I cannot be as sorry for her as I believe I'm meant to be, simply because I did not see any virtue in her choices-she could have been happy, had she been brave. I was left wishing for more heroism, and more of the darkness and fantasy that the original premise suggested. In truth, what this book needed was a little more Phantom.
K Rating: 7/10
**New Author Goal** 7 out of 30