The Four Seasons
A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice
By Laurel Corona
(Hyperion, Paperback, 9781401309268, 400pp.)
Publication Date: November 2008
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
In glittering 18th-century Venice, music and love are prized above all else--and for two sisters coming of age, the city's passions blend in intoxicating ways. Chiaretta and Maddalena are as different as night and day. The two sisters were abandoned as babies on the steps of the Ospedale della Pietß, Venice's world-famous foundling hospital and musical academy. High-spirited and rebellious, Chiaretta marries into a great aristocratic Venetian family and eventually becomes one of the most powerful women in Venice. Maddalena becomes a violin virtuoso and Antonio Vivaldi's muse. The Four Seasons is a rich, literary imagination of the world of 18th-century Venice and the lives and loves of two extraordinary women.
Laurel Corona is the author of twenty plus grade-school books and a professor of English at San Diego City College. She was a Charter Fellow at the San Diego Area Writing Project. She has a BA from University of California and an MA from University of Chicago and received her PhD from University of California. She currently lives in San Diego, CA.
"Corona's The Four Seasons is historical fiction as it is meant to be written--a gripping exploration of the twisting byways of both 18th century Venice and the human heart. Pop Vivaldi's masterpiece into the CD player, brew a pot of tea, and prepare to relinquish the rest of your afternoon. Corona brings Venice and Vivaldi to life, delivering a stirring story of love, ambition, and music that will keep you reading long after the last note of the concerto has ended."
-Lauren Willig, author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
"Laurel Corona's The Four Seasons is a poignant tale of two sisters layered exquisitely over the exotic world of brilliant priest/composer Vivaldi and his 18th century Venice. The result: a vibrant crescendo of hearts and history."
-Karen Harper, author of The Last Boleyn and The First Princess of Wales
"I've never been to Venice, played a violin, or for that matter carried a tune, but after reading The Four Seasons I feel that I've experienced all three, and through them come to a better understanding of the many forms love takes. Brava, Laurel Corona."
-Sally Gunning, author of The Widow's War and Bound
"Corona does a magnificent job of showing us the violent contradictions of life in 18th-century Venice, through the eyes of two musically gifted orphan sisters. Their relationships with music and particularly with the complex, enigmatic figure of Antonio Vivaldi are sensitively explored. This novel resists the easy clich and really succeeds in drawing a world that is both panoramic and intimate."
-Susanne Dunlap, author of Liszt's Kiss
"Music and the dangerous, exquisite world of eighteenth-century Venice form the setting of this poetic, sensual story of two orphaned sisters. The older is a shy, brilliant violinist, the younger a singer who will not be stopped in what she wants in life. One will cling to the chaste, unrequited love of a lifetime while the other will lose herself in the world of masks, lovers, gondolas, canals, and theaters. In all of this, they never lose their devotion to each other. The Four Seasons is a beautifully-written addition to the handful of fascinating novels about women and the arts in this most intriguing of cities."
-Stephanie Cowell, author of Marrying Mozart