Sunday, March 15, 2015

Title: Isabella's Libretto
Author: Kimberly Cross Teter
Genre: YA historical fiction

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Kimberly Cross Teter last week at the 4th annual Augusta Literary Festival. She was one of five finalists for the Yerby Award for fiction for her debut YA historical novel Isabella's Libretto.

Source: Augusta Literary Festival/William Gray

Source: Augusta Literary Festival/William Gray

Source: Augusta Literary Festival/William Gray

Isabella's Libretto takes place in Venice in 1715. The title character, Isabella dal Cello, is a teenage orphan who lives in the Ospedale della Pieta- an all-girls orphanage. This orphanage is special because the girls receive a musical education and play in a weekly orchestra directed by Don Antonio Vivaldi (yes, that Vivaldi). Isabella is a cello player in the orphanage orchestra and her dream is to play a solo cello concerto. 

Like most teenagers, Isabella has a bit of a rebellious streak- she and her best friend Catherine sneak out to watch fireworks. Of course they are caught by the all knowing and all seeing Signora Priora! Isabella's punishment is a unique one- she must teach a new resident to play the cello. This "punishment" turns out to be a positive growing experience for Isabella as she gains a new friend and further improves her musical skills.

Unfortunately, Isabella faces three hardships in quick succession (keep the tissues handy!) and must make an important, life-changing decision: will she marry or will she stay at the Pieta for the rest of her life?

For more information on Kimberly Cross Teter:

For more information on the Augusta Literary Festival and the Yerby Award for Fiction:

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