The Woman in the Moon Light summary

The Woman in the Moon Light summary

The Woman in the Moonlight summary: A Novel by Patricia Morrisroe

Have you ever been moved by a classical piece of music and wondered how and why it was written? Inspired by the famed composition by Ludwig van Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata – The Woman in the Moonlight tells the backstory behind this melancholic, atmospheric masterpiece.


The Woman in the Moonlight is a beautiful, imagined love story between the famed musician Ludwig Beethoven and the Countess Guilliette “Julie”. Bearing a historical yet modern feel, we can truly sense how the characters come alive through the amazing details and heart-wrenching development. The Countess is also the one who Beethoven dedicates most of his famous work to in real life, although society at that time didn’t regard her more than just a marriage chattel.

As expected of an author who emphasizes accuracy, Patricia Morrisroe has again depicted Beethoven in an amazing milieu. Get ready to be immersed in a wicked sense of humor, a

Just like a sonata, The Woman in the Moonlight rises and falls are depicted in three separate parts. We begin with a thorough introduction to the times in which the character lived and also their background. In Part Two, the tempo quickens as we learn about other characters that further inform and embellish the main story. The resolution comes in Part Three as their lives and loves interwove.

Any work from Patricia Morrisroe is a must-read for Beethoven’s fan, as this author dedicates a lot of her time and passion to this famous composer. In this work, her research again proved solid and her take on history is interesting. Aside from the bubbly romance, readers also have a chance to enjoy the colorful lives and times of ancient Vienna.


Most readers are furious at the severe constraints this society took on women, only to be in awe of Julie’s intelligence, pragmatism, and grit that propelled her through years and years of challenge. We also share with the main character a magnetic love of the dazzling musician. The Woman in the Moonlight is truly a heartbreaking, sweeping love story that transcends barriers between classes, counties, continents, and time. 

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Patricia Morrisroe is the author of Mapplethorpe: A Biography, Wide Awake: A Memoir of Insomnia, and 9 ½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes. She was a contributing editor at New York magazine and has written for many other publications, including Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Vogue, the London Sunday Times Magazine, Travel + Leisure, and Departures. The Woman in the Moonlight is her first novel.


“Though researched to a fare-thee-well, Morrisroe’s fiction never lets atmospheric historic detail slow the swift pace of intrigue, politics, art, and sex. Can the HBO miniseries be far behind?” —Matthew Gurewitsch for

“An intoxicating novel about love, art, and life. Just as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata moves one from tears to hope, so does Patricia Morrisroe’s story of the woman who inspired the sonata, Countess Julie Guicciardi.” —Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

“I was utterly absorbed in this beautiful novel of the brilliant, impossible Beethoven and the lovely countess who inspired one of his greatest sonatas. The story is so moving I was sorry to come to the last pages. I read them with tears in my eyes.” —Stephanie Cowell, author of Marrying Mozart

“Sensual, witty, and deeply researched, The Woman in the Moonlight vividly captures the tumultuous romance between volatile genius Ludwig van Beethoven and his ‘enchanting girl,’ Countess Julie Guicciardi. In a love story ripe with decadence and court intrigue, Patricia Morrisroe transports readers on an unforgettable romp through nineteenth-century Europe. Brava!” —Sally Koslow, internationally bestselling author of Another Side of Paradise

“Captivating and emotionally compelling. Morrisroe writes with intelligence and great wit. Her spirited heroine is simply unforgettable. A must-read for music fans and anyone in search of a gripping love story. I could not put it down.” —Sheila Weller, New York Times bestselling author of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation

The Woman in the Moonlight shines a light into nineteenth-century Europe’s political and cultural history, revealing lives that are just as nuanced, tortured, and decadent as any we might read about in the tabloids today. Morrisroe’s touching debut novel is a tribute to the focus, tenacity, courage, and sacrifice demanded by both art and what is commonly called true love.” —Barbara Quick, author of Vivaldi’s Virgins