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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Diva

Narrator: Lorelei King

Macmillan Audio

ISBN: 9781250279927

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 01/23/2024

Format: e-book and audio

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (ARC) (ALC)


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.


This program is read by award-winning narrator Lorelei King and includes a bonus conversation between the author and her singing teacher, soprano Josephine Goddard. It also contains music from Maria Callas.


"Listeners will have a grand time with Lorelei King's versatile narration of this fictionalized account of the life of famed opera singer Maria Callas. Listeners will feel as though they are globe-trotting alongside Callas as she performs in the classic opera houses of Europe and the U.S. King gives Callas a slightly detached, poised tone as she rehearses and performs, and socializes with the rich and famous of the 1950s and 1960s--including Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and, of course, her longtime lover, Aristotle Onassis."—AudioFile


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.


Maria Callas's music courtesy of Warner Classics.


A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin’s Press.


Buy the Book






My Review


New York Times bestselling author Daisy Goodwin returns with DIVA, a glamorous story of the scandalous love affair between the most celebrated opera singer and one of the wealthiest men in the world.


Maria Callas was known as a DIVA, with her magnificent voice, beauty, and flair for the dramatic — celebrated, famed, and honored by the grandest opera houses throughout the world. Insightful, an immersive tale that transports you to Europe during the mid-1900s and the life of “La Divina” Maria Callas.


Raised in Nazi-occupied Greece by a mother who mercilessly exploited her golden voice, they did not have a good relationship. She learned early in life to protect herself from those who would use her for their ends.


She is wowed by the rich Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and falls madly in love, introduced to a world of luxury and showered with jewels and other famous and influential celebrities. They were together for nine years. She craved security and faithfulness but did not get the faithfulness.


Their love affair was suddenly over, and Aristotle Onassis would marry the most famous woman in the world, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, leaving Maria.


The author, Daisy Goodwin, brings to life a woman we have read about, a woman of talent, but only in the heartbreak of losing her love did he find her true voice. He did not make her feel safe.


I enjoyed learning about the life of Maria Callas, her childhood, and her sister, Jackie, who was her mom's favorite. She used her talent to help her family, but it appeared they did not appreciate it. Maria married Giovanni Meneghini, who often took advantage of her, expecting her to perform when not up to it.


Beautifully written, a compelling inside story of Maria Callas, her insecurities, dysfunctional family, fears, desires, and talents to the rise and fame as one of the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century.


The novel is broken out into Acts One, Two, Three, and the Final Curtain, with globe-trotting as Callas performs in the classic opera houses of Europe and the US from the 50s to 60s with glitz and glamour.


DIVA is a compelling, absorbing historical fiction, meticulously researched with vivid settings and characterization—of love, art, and ambition— a spectacular fictionalized account of the life of famed opera singer Maria Callas. Elegant, visceral, and tragic.


AUDIOBOOK: I enjoyed the e-book and the audiobook narrated by a favorite award-winning, the fabulous Lorelei King, which includes a bonus conversation between the author and her singing teacher, soprano Josephine Goddard. It also contains music from Maria Callas. I highly recommend the audiobook.


Thanks to St. Martin's Press, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for a gifted ARC and ALC in exchange for an honest opinion.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Jan 23, 2024

My Rating: 4.5 Stars










Praise


"I was blown away by Diva. Beautiful, visceral, tragic, gutting."

―Miranda Cowley Heller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paper Palace


"The spectacular Daisy Goodwin has written Diva, an epic novel about Maria Callas in love that hits every note and soars off the page. You will root for Callas as she navigates her dynamic career and a love affair that will break her heart. Told with tenderness and power, this is bravura storytelling in the hands of a master."

―Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Left Undone


“Elegant, adult, ultimately very moving, Diva presents an amazingly convincing Maria, while always conveying the power of the majestic Callas myth.”

―Laura Thompson, New York Times bestselling author of The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters


"I've been completely overwhelmed by Diva: by the pleasure of reading such a marvellous ardent, romantic yet utterly worldly book…Quick, where are my Callas records…”

―Lady Antonia Fraser, national bestselling author of Marie Antoinette: The Journey


“With its glamour, celebrity and heartbreak, this is the unstoppable story of ambition and desire that enchantress Daisy Goodwin was born to write.”

―Lucy Worsley, host of the hit PBS series "Lucy Worsley Investigates" and bestselling author of Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman and Jane Austen at Home: A Biography


"Daisy Goodwin's richly imagined world makes Diva an irresistible page-turner. Blending high drama with an artist's eye for detail, Goodwin breathes life into one of the greatest and most tragic stars of the 20th century. Whether you're an opera aficionado or simply love an epic tale of love and ambition, Diva is a pure delight."

―Dr. Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author of Georgiana and A World on Fire


"Daisy Goodwin is a genius storyteller, fashioning the most delicious, insider gossip into a tale full of heartbreak, love, ambition, and brutal disappointment."

―Nina de Gramont, bestselling author of The Christie Affair


"Daisy Goodwin’s immersion in the life of Maria Callas has yielded a jewel of a novel, as tormentingly seductive as any diamond necklace given to her by her faithless lover, Onassis." ―Rose Tremain, award-winning author of Restoration and Lily: A Tale of Revenge


"VERDICT Brava! Historical-fiction enthusiasts, fans of La Callas, and others will relish this view into the tumultuous love affair of a power couple; they’ll offer a standing ovation when, in the novel’s 'Final Curtain,' the opera singer discovers her true voice." ―Library Journal, starred review

"Fascinating, tender and richly-imagined."

―Toronto Star






About the Author



Daisy Goodwin is a writer and television producer.


After reading history at Cambridge, she went to Columbia Film School as a Harkness Fellow. After ten years at the BBC making arts documentaries, she left to join the independent sector and created a number of programmes including Grand Designs which is now in its 18th year on Channel 4.


In 2005 she started Silver River productions, which she sold to Sony in 2012. Alongside her tv work , Daisy has written a memoir, Silver River and two novels My Last Duchess Uk/The American Heiress US and The Fortune Hunter, which were both New York Times bestsellers. In 2014 Daisy decided to concentrate on writing full time and was commissioned to write her first screenplay, Victoria, an 8 part series about the early life of Queen Victoria for ITV and WGBH Masterpiece Theatre.


She is now working on Season 2.


Daisy lives in London with her three dogs, two daughters and one husband.


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