Author: Daisy Goodwin
Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jan. 23, 2024
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: St. Martin's Press
Book Rating: 8.5/10
New York Times bestselling author Daisy Goodwin returns with a story of the scandalous love affair between the most celebrated opera singer of all time and one of the richest men in the world.
In the glittering and ruthlessly competitive world of opera, Maria Callas was known simply as la divina: the divine one. With her glorious voice, instinctive flair for the dramatic, and striking beauty, she was the toast of the grandest opera houses in the world. But her fame was hard won: Raised in Nazi-occupied Greece by a mother who mercilessly exploited her golden voice, she learned early in life to protect herself from those who would use her for their own ends.
When she met the fabulously rich Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, for the first time in her life, she believed she’d found someone who saw the woman within the legendary soprano. She fell desperately in love. He introduced her to a life of unbelievable luxury, showering her with jewels and sojourns in the most fashionable international watering holes with celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
And then suddenly, it was over. The international press announced that Aristotle Onassis would marry the most famous woman in the world, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, leaving Maria to pick up the pieces.
In this remarkable novel, Daisy Goodwin brings to life a woman whose extraordinary talent, unremitting drive, and natural chic made her a legend. But it was only in confronting the heartbreak of losing the man she loved that Maria Callas found her true voice and went on to triumph.
Fascinating, captivating, and rich!
Diva is an insightful, immersive tale that sweeps you away to Europe during the mid-1900s and into the life of “La Divina” Maria Callas from her dysfunctional upbringing, her ongoing worries and insecurities, her dispassionate marriage to Giovanni Battista Meneghini, her rise and fame as one of the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century, to her sordid love affair with the richest man in the world at the time, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are hardworking, dedicated, and passionate. And the plot is an intriguing tale of life, love, friendship, family, glitz, glamour, jealousy, scandals, uncertainty, infidelity, drive, determination, and the ins and outs of operatic performances.
Overall, Diva is a vivid, compelling, absorbing novel by Goodwin that does an exceptional job of highlighting her impressive knowledge and considerable research into this renowned iconic figure whose life, talent, and hard work had an undeniable impact on the world of opera as we know it today.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.