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The Street of Seven Stars

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Book Overview: 

This novel tells the story of Harmony Wells, an innocent and beautiful American in Austria to study violin. Harmony has talent and she dreams of a career in music. After her friends run out of money and return to the States, Harmony stays on in hopes of earning enough money to continue her lessons. Along the way, she meets Peter Byrne, an American doctor in Vienna following his dream to study surgery. Peter is already watching over an orphan boy in a local hospital and now he takes it upon himself to protect young Harmony from the unsavory side of life in the big city. With life pressing in, Peter and Harmony each must decide how much to sacrifice for the sake of their dreams - and for each other.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Harmony had pleased the old man to one of his rare enthusiasms.

"Six months," he said, "and you will go back to your America and show them how over here we teach violin. I will a letter—letters—give you, and you shall put on the programme, of your concerts that you are my pupil, is it not so?"

Harmony was drawing on her worn gloves; her hands trembled a little with the praise and excitement.

"If I can stay so long," she answered unsteadily.

"You must stay. Have I so long labored, and now before it is finished you talk of going! Gott im Himmel!"

"It is a matter of money. My father is dead. And unless I find something to do I shall have to go back."

The master had heard many such statements. They never ceased to rouse his ire against a world that had money for everything but music. He spent five minutes in indignant protest, then:—

"But you are clever and young, child. You will . . . Read More

Community Reviews

There is certainly a lot of character development here.

The book seems to be about an American girl named Harmony who seeks to make her fortune as a musician, in Germany. She meets a guy (Peter) who takes it upon himself to protect her (whether or not she wants it). However, she wishes to be indep...more

This is one of Mary Roberts Rinehart's pre-World War I romance novels. I've come to the conclusion that she could write anything she put her mind to--she wrote great mysteries, hysterically funny screwball comedies, dramas, social commentary, romances, an amazing book of war correspondent observa...more

Of course it's odd to keep filing these books as "historical," since they were contemporary when they were written -- at least for the most part -- but I think that's part of their appeal for me now.

This is a sweet romance; while there are plenty of the typical plot twists to keep the characters...more

A novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Peter Bryne, a young doctor, finds Harmony Wells, a young musician, living alone in Austria and tries to make her life better for her. What starts out as altruism quickly turns into something deeper. He proposes to Harmony twice, but each time is rejected because...more

Well written, and beautiful description! The characters were unique and interesting, and the choice between a career and love was an interesting problem for them to face. The romance was sweet, and there was an interesting foil relationship that was completely opposite the main characters'.

The pa...more

By now, you probably already know that I'm obsessed with her work. She is quickly taking a seat right next to Agatha Christie in my love of a good mystery. There is something so wonderfully lush about her narrative style that I get transfixed by what is taking place on the page. The plots and cha...more

Harmony Wells is a struggling American studying music all alone in pre-WWI Vienna, Peter Byrne a young doctor in similar circumstances. He vows to look after her, out of which an awkward relationship and romance begins to blossom.

This novel was far from what I expected from the 'American Agatha C...more

Rinehart, a nurse who married a doctor, does like to set her romances around medical professionals, doesn't she?

Anyway, this is one of her non-mysteries, here in pre-World War I Vienna. The main plot/romance between a budding violinist and a student doctor is OK, at best, but there are all sorts...more

A Romance, Not a Mystery

Maybe I should've known this, but this book is not a mystery! I didn't know Rinehart wrote non-mystery books so I kept waiting for what never came. This is a romance - and a clean one (no sex scenes, hallelujah!) ... even a slightly realistic one as it shows how choices c...more

I can only blame myself for not particularly enjoying this book. Having read Rinehart’s ‘The Circular Staircase’ and knowing her to be called the American Agatha Christie, I assume all her novels were the same detective/mystery genre. Wrong! I managed to pick one an anomaly of the bunch and only...more

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