Book Review: Hidden Voices

Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice
Pat Lowery Collins
Grades 9-12
340 pages

Hidden Voices: the Orphan Musicians of Venice, by Pat Lowery Collins is a story about three orphan girls whose search for love pulls them in different directions.  Hidden Voices follows the lives of Anetta, Luisa, and Rosalba living at the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage renowned for its extraordinary musical program.  Set in early 1700s Venice in a time where choices for women were limited these girls’ musical talent offers them a chance at a better life.  The girls want more than what is offered though.  Anetta rejects marriage, Luisa longs for the love of a mother who abandoned her and Rosalba dreams of a forbidden romance outside the walls of the Ospedale.

Told through alternating viewpoints, Hidden Voices follows each girl as they try to obtain their dreams.  The author does a wonderful job of giving the girls distinct voices and personalities that are true and believable.  The reader can relate to them as their struggles are universal and carry through time.

Hidden Voices is a fictional novel based, in part, on the eighteenth century Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi.  Through Anetta, Luisa and Rosalba, who excel in voice and instrument, the novel seamlessly weaves in the history of Vivaldi’s early musical career.  The setting is wonderfully portrayed.  Venice comes to life on the pages from the orphanage to the streets and even the country side, Hidden Voices paints a vivid picture of life in the early 1700s.  While full of descriptive passages that bring 18th century Venice alive, the novel does have a slow beginning.  Give it time.  It’s a historical novel well worth the read.

And a little side note: I love the book cover.  I’ll pick up a book just because the cover catches my attention and this one encompasses everything the novel is about.  Lovely.


4 Responses to Book Review: Hidden Voices

  1. Kaye Dacus says:

    My first reaction, even before seeing the title or your review was, “What a gorgeous cover!”

    I’m going to have to look for this book—for me!

  2. Jennifer says:

    It is lovely isn’t it. Enter our contest on Friday 🙂 You could win a copy!

  3. QNPoohBear says:

    Too much teen angst in this novel for me but the historical details were excellent.

  4. […] Funke’s The Thief Lord and Pat Lowry Collins’s Hidden Voices, reviewed by Jennifer HERE. A busy Grand […]

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