Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anna Bentley Tremaine's Guest Historical Review of The Braham's Deception by Louise Marley

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Braham’s Deception by Louise Marley

Music scholar Frederica Bannister is thrilled when she beats her bitter rival, Kristian North, for the chance to be transferred back to 1861 Tuscany to observe firsthand the brilliant Johannes Brahms. Frederica will not only get to see Brahms in his prime; she’ll also try to solve a mystery that has baffled music experts for years.

But once in Tuscany, Frederica’s grip on reality quickly unravels. She instantly falls under Brahms’ spell—and finds herself envious of his secret paramour, the beautiful, celebrated concert pianist Clara Schumann. In a single move, Frederica makes a bold and shocking decision that changes everything…

When Frederica fails to return home, it is Kristian North who is sent back in time to Tuscany to find her. There, Kristian discovers that Frederica indeed holds the key to unraveling Brahms’ greatest secret. But now, Frederica has a dark secret of her own—one that puts everyone around her in devastating peril...

Kensington Books, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-7582-6567-8 

Anna Bentley Tremaine's Guest Historical Review:

This book is first and foremost a cautionary tale about interfering with the past. It is a story of disappointed hopes and abusing power in an attempt to get ahead. Kristian, the hero, who's just left the ivory tower without completing his PhD, is asked to step back in time to find out what happened to his rival when she didn't return as scheduled. The story centers strongly around music, but the author is careful not to overwhelm lay readers with terminology that might prevent them from enjoying or understanding the writing.

Unfortunately, the book did not work for me. The characters felt constructed and cliched rather than real. The author made almost all the "bad" people ugly, rich, and controlling while the "good" people were beautiful, poor, and noble. I did not care for the fact that the hero kept a very important secret for as long as he did. Most of all, I didn't care for the idea that we could go back to witness the past as ghostly spirits who could not be perceived by anyone around us. While one of the concerns of the story was preservation of the established timeline, it did not once touch on on the ethics of going back in time to watch people who could not give their consent to being watched.

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