Through no choice of her own, she became an actress, traveling from Ireland, to London, and finally achieving status and success in Paris. He was to study medicine after his father, but music called to him. And his first success was in the madness inspired by a beautiful, Irish Actress. When the two come together, they are joint by fiery romance that tears them apart. The story of the composer Hector Berlioz, in the Romantic musical era, and his first wife, Harriet Smithson.
Personal Take: It has been such a long time since I’ve picked up something, and truly felt that I could not put it down. Morgan’s style of writing was refreshingly new: a bit of Dickens, Shakespeare, even a little musical script. At some point, the narrator even spoke with the actress over what happened in her life. The narrative really absorbs the readers into the world of art in the 1800. The change from narrative styles, interview styles, and play script form gives it a lovely freshness to historical fiction. It was beautifully, and wonderfully written, and all the emotions throughout the book spills out in the last paragraph of the book.
Audience: Preferably older teens (16+), and adults. There are sexual themes, not too much, but it’s still there.
Other recommendations: Jude Morgan has written quite a few novels, and I think all of them are worth reading. His Regency novels An Accomplished Woman and Indiscretion are really good. Other historical fiction he wrote (but unfortunately didn’t read yet) are The King’s Touch and Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets. Recently he’s published a novel about the Bronte sisters, A Taste of Sorrow. You can count that any of Morgan’s books are wonderfully written.