Review | Tour Stop | Aloha Mozart by Waimea Williams
This debut novel hits all the right notes--following in the spell-casting footsteps of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. Would you risk your life--or your soul--for the sake of art?
Born into an impoverished Hawaiian family in the 1960s, Maile Manoa's quest for a life in music lures her to the high-stakes world of European opera. In Salzburg, Austria she attracts the attentions of powerful men and falls in love . . . with a troubled young musician, with the city, and the intrigue that surrounds her.
When Werner von Wehlen, the famous conductor at the center of Salzburg's glamorous music festival, offers her a leading role, she is forced to confront the Nazi heart of the classical music scene and von Wehlen's treacherous past. On the evening of her brilliant premiere, with Soviet tanks threatening to invade the city, Maile must choose between recognition on the world stage . . . or leaving the city with her life, and her conscience, intact.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 12th 2012 by Luminis Books
I know absolutely nothing about being a musician. I am a writer, blogger, and mother. That's it. Music has never been my strong point and I'm ok with that. In this novel Williams takes us on a journey. The very exciting and passionate journey of a young Hawaiian singer who studies Opera at the famous Mozarteum in Salzburg. The novel is very unique in it's own colorful ways. The characters are very easy to follow and they are properly developed. The characters are also easy to become emotionally attached to as well. The plot is very well played out. The young woman has a complicated love affair while trying to fulfill her dreams.
About the Author:
Originally from Hawaii and living back home in the islands, I once spent 10 years in Europe as an opera singer. I then studied creative writing in San Francisco at the UC Berkeley extension, and received scholarshipsto Breadloaf and Squaw Valley. My memoir deals with Hawaiian culture. In 2013 my debut novel won a Hawaii Award for Excellence. This book answers the questions: How does a singer get from Hawaii to Salzburg in the late 1960s? What happens to her in the glamorous, high-stakes world of classical music? How much does the Nazi past matter to artists from outside Europe?
My next novel is under submission and I'm at work on a third book. When not writing I'm part of the Hawaiian cultural and environmental community.