At a crossroads in his life, Mozart visits the home of poor music copyist and teacher Fridolin Weber and his ambitious wife Maria to attend one of their famed Thursday night soirees.

Mozart becomes a frequent visitor and then a boarder at the Webers' because of his fascination with their four daughters. The two older girls, Josefa and the beauti-ful Aloysia, are singers, and the younger Constanze and Sophie are coming into womanhood. Mozart falls in love with Aloysia, but her social-climbing mother has other plans for her daughter.

With her lyrical, colorful prose, Cowell brings readers straight into her characters' lives. Those who know realize that Mozart didn't marry Aloysia but the younger, less flighty Constanze, who remained his faithful wife and mother of his six children.

In Marrying Mozart, the Weber girls and their manipulative mother steal the show, presenting a feminist view of the 18th-century music world. As the story moves from Mannheim to Salzburg, Vienna, and Munich, readers will get caught up in this rich tale of domestic life, customs and music, and the four young women exploring their dreams, desires and sensuality. Not just for the music lover, but for anyone intrigued by family dynamics. SWEET (Feb., 350 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin