Book Journeys – Vienna

Love in Three Quarter TimeI love to travel, whether through my imagination in a book or in real life. Well, Rachel McMillan’s newest novel takes us to the beautiful city of Vienna – and now I want to go there for real.

Since I can’t hop on a plane at this moment, with the handy dandy help of our cyberworld (and some guidance from Love in Three Quarter Time’s heroine, Evelyn Watt, let’s check out some of the lovely world of Vienna.

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Pixabay

As noted in Trip Advisor (and portrayed in Rachel’s novella), “In Vienna, the coffee shop isn’t just a hangout, it’s an institution.” A great coffee shop can create a sense of community, and Vienna is known for having quaint coffee shops where you can enjoy delicious pastries, strudels or cakes, as you pause between your walks down the traffic-free shopping streets from one architectural masterpiece to another. Café Mozart is the introduced to us in Rachel’s book and plays a significant role in the story and the especially the romance 😉

 

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Hofburg Palace – Pixabay

Much of the setting of Vienna comes from its “Imperial” architecture, which nods toward the Habsburg monarchy which ruled Vienna for over six hundred years, but it is also a thriving city with modern structures as well. The Hofburg palace, home of the Habsburg family,  is in the center of Vienna. Originally surrounded by a mote, parts of this ‘castle’ can be dated back to the 13th century. The rooms are amazing!! And as I look through the photos of the Redoutenstaal wing of the palace, in particular, I’m struck my its grandeur. Wow!

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The Belvedere Palace – Pixabay

For a few more breathtaking historical buildings tops, you could visit the Schonbrunn Palace, The Belvedere Palace (there are lots of palaces in Austria and Rachel mentions the winter garden for this one), or even St Stephen’s Cathedral (a roman gothic structure with a spectacular south tower and referred to as Stephansdom in the novella). Check out the roof of this church. The intricate design is amazing. And all of the palaces have extensive gardens to explore too. Really, there is no end to the historic churches to visit too – St. Peter’s, St. Anna’s…so many!

Museums run aplenty in this city rich in culture. From the Kunsthistorisches Museum which spans centuries of artwork to The Third Man Museum which gives a more modern look at Vienna. Basically, you can see about anything you want – science, art…there’s even a carriage museum. Rachel mentions Musiemsquartier in Love in Three Quarter Time, which basically is a beautiful complex of a myriad art museum, from historic to modern, and for some fresh air on a beautiful day, you can visit one of the many public parks, one, in particular, is Volksgarten.

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Staatsoper – Pixabay

Music is everywhere in Vienna, so a visit wouldn’t be complete without taking in an opera or concert (or lots more). Since Mozart’s house (Mozarthaus) is actually in town, why not catch a little tour of it as well. We could catch a performance in the same place as Evelyn Watt – at the Staatsoper – or also in the Musikverein, with its gilded exterior.

There are too many sites to mention in a blog post, but I’ve tried to highlight a few. One thing pictures and videos can’t do is give us a sense of place, which Rachel’s book does through descriptions and story, but I’d LOVE the opportunity to experience Vienna in person too. Have you been to Vienna? If so, what was one of your favorite sites? If not, where would you like to visit in this beautiful city?

You can read my review of Love in Three Quarter Time HERE.

Here are a few more gorgeous photos of the city!

(All photos from Pixabay.com)

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Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

About the Book

Love in Three Quarter TimeA romantic waltz through a city filled with music, passion and coffee. 

Evelyn Watt fell in love with Austrian marketing director Rudy Moser the moment he stepped into their Boston firm. With his ice blue eyes and chocolate-melting accent, he is as refined as she imagines his home country to be. When Evelyn finds herself unexpectedly unemployed right before Christmas, she is left with an unknown future until Rudy steps in with a job appraising, assessing and cataloging heirlooms, lending her American vernacular to the translated descriptions to give each item international appeal. Evelyn will live in Vienna for the months leading up to a grand auction at a party held in conjunction with the Opera Ball—on Valentine’s Day. 

Vienna is a magical blend of waltzing, antiques, and bottomless cups of Einspanner coffee at the Café Mozart. When a secret from Rudy’s family’s past blows in with the winter chill, Evelyn is forced to confront how well she knows the object of her affection. Her café tablemate, the gruff and enigmatic Klaus Bauner might be the only person who holds the key to Rudy’s past. But could that key also unlock her future? In the days leading up to the Opera Ball, Evelyn finds herself in the middle of the greatest romance of her life…as long as she doesn’t trip over her two left feet.

My Thoughts

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Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

Dripping with wit, colorful descriptions, and a story about the irreplaceable beauty of lifelong romance, Rachel McMillan has crafted a rich contemporary novella with the reverberant charm of a classic. Love in Three Quarter Time takes the reader on a delightful journey both of imagination and heart, as we travel with the insecure and lonely Evelyn Watt through the elegance of Vienna and the complexities of introspection. With Evelyn as our narrator and Rachel as the wordsmith guiding our tour, Vienna comes to life and the reader is immersed in the culture with such clarity we can almost smell the coffee.

 

There’s a sweet message in this story about what romance really is – the flicker versus the smolder, I guess. A lifelong romance (smolder) is something that brews deeper than tingling fingertips and heated glances, but it’s one hearts response to finding kindship in another heart, as evidenced—in Rachel’s book— by comfortable shared silence and mutual appreciation for the feelings and mind of the other person. Who wouldn’t want that, right? Wowzers!!

Rachel also touches on the idea that we shouldn’t have to alter who we are to make someone love us. True love is when someone sees the beauty you already possess and finds kinship in it, as the resident hero of Love in Three Quarter Time does.

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Photo by Firdaus Roslan on Unsplash

Klaus…ah…Klaus. When we meet him, he is endearingly disgruntled and politely distant. With a smooth accent, a mature outlook, a wounded heart, and a tender spirit, the reader falls for Klaus much quicker than Evelyn, but we get the wonderful opportunity to slowly watch her make the transition from a misguided definition of love to experience what it really looks like. And disgruntled, wounded, and tender, doesn’t look bad at all 😉

 

With inside humor from classics like Little Women to more popular culture references like Hamilton, this story has it all – history, humor, depth, romance, far off places, heroes worth a second look and heroines worth a second chance.

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast andrachel mcmillan.jpg a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

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