5 stars · Adult · Biography · Books · Historical · Literary · Reviews


If anything I was enthralled by the story. The writing came alive, as much as Alma did. The various things that defined her and where she will go on next.

The climax being a triumph, the ability for her to learn to compose again. The feeling that she was back to being who she was before. Not an unhappy mother, the same can be said for how regretful her mother was. The fact that she chose to reject her previous decision after seeing just how distraught and upset her daughter was.

That nothing could really save her at that point.

And eventually her marriage to Gustav Mahler which was explored in one of the most surprising and also heart wrenching time. The emotions were all there, explored to perfection and thought of so well that I had nothing to say.

I felt for her at every step, and a good choice to show just what a woman might suffer. How she might suffer if she was forced to give up something against her will, and yet expected to do every other duty.

Her eventual depression wasn’t just one event. But everything up until that point. Beginning with Gustav choosing to force her not to compose, and all the arduous years spent alone. Finally with the death of her daughter, which made her feel that she has no meaning in life.

It was a story about a woman, a complex woman with emotions. At times I wondered why did she choose what she did when it will have lead her nowhere. But it is a reason why I might prefer such retellings in the first place. Because of how realistic it was.

It swept me by the feet and refused to let me go. Full of emotions, mind and what it meant to be a woman. Even today, there are many striking similarities here. Although much less subdued, and a lot less noticeable.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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