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Pub Date 23 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 06 Feb 2024


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.

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...

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Featured Reviews

Diva was a hard book to put down. The writing was done with finesse and left me wanting a sequel. This book is a great 5 star book.

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A great story about an amazing woman who is most likely the most talented opera singer there ever was - Maria Callas. I don't know anything about opera but certainly knew who she was even though I was a babe in arms during her time. Maria was a complicated woman who struggled to find love in her life. Her commitment to her art was her life and she rarely faulted in her dedication to that. The author does an amazing job in bringing Maria to life and really making the reader feel her every emotion. I loved it! Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Daisy Goodwin has written a captivating story about one of the most well-known opera singers of the 20th century, Maria Callas. I think one of the highest compliments a reader can pay to a historical novel is to immediately want to find out more about the author's topic. Goodwin stirred my curiosity and I've spent some time today looking for more information about Maria Callas.

"Diva" spans Maria's life from young girl to just after her break-up with Aristotle Onassis. She found out two days before the wedding that he was marrying Jacqueline Kennedy. Goodwin writes about the various operas in which the singer starred and about her extensive travel. Maria's anger at her mother and sister persisted throughout her life; when young, Maria started believing that her mother preferred her sister. The portrayal of this and other foibles makes Maria come to life.

I would describe the late Maria Callas as talented, fascinating, and troubled. "Diva" is a well-written book and one I would recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of "Diva."

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Diva by Daisy Goodwin is an extraordinary historical fiction thats wonderfully engaging, highly readable and a hard one to put down.
I was both mesmerized and rather seduced by the way this story was written and how it unfolded.
Engaging characters, great story and beautifully written this was quite the story.

“An excellent story of the scandalous love affair between the most celebrated opera singer of all time and one of the richest men in the world.”

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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I have always been fascinated by Maria Dallas and this book did not disappoint! I loved how it focused not only on her opera careee , but also her personal life. There were some scenes in the book that might disturb some readers, however her relationship with Ari was tumultuous and those scenes show that. Definitely a great fictional addition to the Jackie, Maria, Ari love triangle.

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Daisy Goodwin has masterfully written a “behind the scenes” shocker…with an unapologetic look at the life and playtimes of the international rich and famous. Maria Callas…world renown opera soprano…was one of the most famous among them.

Maria dined with presidents and movie stars. She had dinner aboard the Onassis mega yacht with Winston Churchill and Clemmie, his wife. She sang as an honored guest at the 45th birthday party for President John F. Kennedy…where she met Marilyn Monroe, who she said was warm and shy.

Goodwin has captured the many faceted persona of Maria Callas, with breathtaking descriptions of Maria’s talent and rise to fame.

Goodwin draws us eagerly into the extravagant world of opera, and describes Maria’s extraordinary talent, and the endless years of training and work and dedication. Maria is not only a once in a generation soprano…she is a gifted and passionate actress. She loves performing and feels the power of her voice and the gift she brings to her audiences.

Described as “American born Greek opera singer”, Maria, though born in NY, spent her teen and young adult life in war ravished Greece. Those years of sacrifice heavily influenced her life. She escaped this hardship through her music.

Maria Callas was fluent in four languages: English, Greek, French, and Italian…and she also spoke some Spanish. She had many facets to her personality. She displayed her public persona to her fans and admirers carefully…it was contrived and artfully constructed to present her at her best.

Maria tried to hide her early life history from the world. Her personal leap from insecure fat pimply teenager, to glamorous celebrity, was a struggle. She was challenged by the media and press about her estrangement from her family. Her mother often criticized her publicly.

Maria’s lack of confidence and insecurities stemmed from an unhappy childhood. Her mother favored Maria’s older sister, and Maria strived constantly and unsuccessfully for her mothers love.

Feeling betrayed by her mother and her sister…Maria discovered love outside of her family. Maria married Batista Meneghini, a man 30 years older than her. She was searching for security and someone she could rely on.

Goodwin writes about Batista (Tita), “he told her the first time they met that she would be the greatest diva in the world…at the time she weighed 200 pounds with legs like tree trunks.”

For many years her Italian husband Tita protected her while managing her professional life, and Maria trusted him. For many years he protected her image and personal exposure…she relied on him. And then Maria discovered he was stealing money from her.

Aristotle Onassis pursued Maria Callas…he captivated her with gifts and adulation. Their years long affair was passionate, intense, public…their intimacy was explosive. Their relationship angered Ari’s family…but the happy couple in love were oblivious or uncaring. Unfortunately, Ari was not a faithful man…and soon came the inevitable turn to another woman.

Ari Onassis and Maria had a stormy tumultuous relationship. He said she was his soulmate…he gave her precious jewels, and showered her with extravagance and attention. Maria loved him deeply, and was completely shattered when he left her and married former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Maria Callas was invited into the very highest layers of wealth and celebrity and aristocracy. She met Elsa Maxwell early in her young career, and they entered into a long term roller coaster relationship. For years their interaction fluctuated…with Elsa jumping between adoring loyal friend and bitter jealous woman. Elsa would leech onto Maria to share in her celebrity…while also introducing her to the top echelons of royalty and power.

Maria Callas was a star with a magnificent talent…she lived an extraordinary outrageous life, which author Daisy Goodwin captured beautifully and comprehensively. This novel is a monumental tribute to an incredible woman and diva.

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This was such a great historical fiction novel, it does everything that I was expecting from the author. Daisy Goodwin does a great job in writing this. I enjoyed how good the story was and it worked well overall with the historical setting. I’m glad I got to read this.

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This is a fictional account of the life of Maria Callas, the original diva. She is a world famous opera singer, and we follow her life starting from her childhood up until her 50's. It is a whirlwind of exciting trips, fashion, food, and celebrities. We get caught up in all the Hollywood glamour, and we are with Maria when she experiences her highs and her lows. The book does a good job in drawing you in and making you feel for Maria. You feel compassion for her self doubt and her self destructive tendencies. You feel protective of what may not be the real version of the famous woman. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

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Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a free DRC of Diva for review consideration! All opinions are my own.

Author Daisy Goodwin tells a beautiful story of the life of opera star Maria Callas. A life filled with fame and famous people, Maria stands out because she believes there is fame and then there is talent. She believes her voice is a gift from God and it is to be shared with others. Throughout her life, Callas searches for love and acknowledgment of her success. She thinks in the beginning, the accolades from fans is enough but as time goes by, she realizes she wants more.

Enter Aristotle Onassis-- he seems to be the answer to her prayers. Despite his being married, Callas falls deeply and hopelessly in love with him. His love fulfills her in a way that no one else's ever has... until. And even after, he remains the love of her life.

A book that's hard to put down because you can't wait to read about the famous people, the parties, and the love affair of two people destined to be together.

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I grew up enchanted by the beautiful sounds and music of Maria Callas. Daisy Goodwin has written a powerful historic fiction of her life from childhood into her middle age years including the tumultuous relationship with
Aristotle Onassis, a man who loved women at the cost of their relationship. The author has captured the highs and lows of Maria’s life seamlessly. If you are fan, or even if you are not, you certainly will be while reading this book.
As a huge fan of this author and of “The Diva” herself, I thank St. Martin’s Press from the bottom of my heart for sharing this ARC with me. I Loved it!

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This was so good! I had never heard her back story so this was fascinating to me. I love books like this, it kept me wanting to read more and more!
I just reviewed Diva by Daisy Goodwin. #NetGalley
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A lovely novel about the operatic soprano, Maria Callas, focusing on her long affair with Aristotle Onassis. I really loved the way the book got into the mind and heart of this great diva.

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Just finished this book. Was very interesting and entertaining. I never liked that Jackie married Onassis and wondered what the attraction was, besides money. The author made you feel like you knew Maria Callas and could relate to her. I highly recommend and thankful for opportunity from St Martins Press and NetGalley to read this pre release book for an honest review.

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Another amazing historical fiction rendered by Daisy! All of her books are must reads! I loved it! True movie material!

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Redefining Having it All

Daisy Goodwin scores a home run with her story about Maria Callas’ career as a famous opera singer and her love affair with Aristotle Onassis.

Maria fought domination from her mother who exploited her for her voice, her first husband, Tita Meneghini, who was also her manager, who exploited her for her money, and Elsa Maxwell the gossip columnist who exploited her for her celebrity.

Enter Aristotle Onassis, the shipping magnate with his search to marry the most famous woman in the world while having a legendary opera singer as his mistress.

Maria competed with her sister Jackie for her mother’s love. The experience armed her for the battle ahead when she had to compete with Lee Bouvier and the widow Jackie Bouvier Kennedy for Aristotle Onassis’ love.

This compelling historical fiction redefines the concept of having it all. I thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this pre-released book in exchange for an honest review.

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Whilst I was aware of the story of Maria and Ari this story being told from Maria’s perspective gives a new slant. You cannot help but be moved by Maria’s heartbreaking story. Even great women have weaknesses, usually men !

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Bravissima!!! Daisy Goodwin has written a masterpiece (again!). This historical fiction novel is about the life of Maria Callas, the greatest voice in Opera. Goodwin brings us into her life and all of her thoughts, including how she lost herself over Aristotle Onassis. This novel was incredibly well researched, and really brings the reader into the world of opera, as well as the 1950s-1960s. Although we all know the end of the story, this novel gives us so much more insight into the life and mind of one of the strongest women in history - a woman who, until now, has not been given her due credit.

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Inspired by the life and history of Diva Maria Callas, this novel reveals the inner life of the most famous opera singer of her time. Her tempestuous love affair with Aristotle Onassis drives her life second only to her music career. It feels like you know her intimately, as few did in her lifetime. You are enthralled from the very beginning and appalled at times. Her life was her greatest performance and dwarfed her music, but she, as always, is the great Maria Callas.

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AHHH! What a fabulous gem of historical fiction storytelling! This story kept me engaged from start to finish and I adore the cover!

Thank you so much for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

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A wow of a histfic novel about the life of famed opera star Maria Callas, and her tumultuous love affair with Aristotle Onassis, who became Jackie Kennedy's second husband. Captivating!

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Bravo! A beautiful book, a fictionalized account, of the life of the great diva, Maria Callas. We know the bones of her story but Goodwin takes us to the intimate details of her life.

Born in Brooklyn, she was brought by her cruel and grasping mother to study voice in Greece. Despite myriad issues of poverty, sadness and weight, she becomes the great Callas. Her marriage to the manipulative Italian Tita has brought her little happiness.

The heart of this book is her relationship with Aristotle Onassis. Of course, we associate his name with Jackie O, his trophy wife. This is all explored in this book. Maria is so totally sympathetic in this that it’s hard not to become emotionally involved.

I highly recommend this to reading groups who will enjoy discussing the relationships of Ari and Maria, as well as his connection to both Jackie and her sister Lee (cringeworthy and a bit shocking).

Thank you Netgalley for the privilege of reading and reviewing this compelling book.

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This was so well written I was pulled in immediately. I have heard her songs before but I loved reading about her and understanding her story. This was a really good read. I highly recommend.

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Amazing story of Maria Callas. I really had no opinion of Maria Callas either way, but Daisy Goodwin, who is an amazing author, makes her so interesting that you are drawn to her like a moth to a flame. An amazing blend of
complex characters and relationships.

Marvelous read.!

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Bravo Daisy Goodwin!! Diva was a fabulous read that I could not put down!

Renown as the greatest singer in the world, Maria Callas’ life story is accented by the addition of imagined conversations. Goodwin’s writing brings the scenes to life and you feel as if you are in the room with Maria and her inner circle, Tita, Elsa, Aristo and Franco to name a few.

Callas & Onassis were the two most famous Greeks in the world and it was inevitable that they would become a couple. This is an enthralling tale of their romance and even though we know the ending, it is a fabulous read!

Mark the publication date on your calendar, preorder Diva or run to the nearest shop and pick it up!

Thanks to @NetGalley I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Pub Date 23 Jan 2024

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Diva by Daisy Goodwin is a remarkable novel that tells the story of Maria Callas, one of the most celebrated opera singers of all time. Goodwin does an excellent job of bringing Callas to life, capturing her passion for music, her determination to succeed, and her vulnerability. The novel also explores Callas's complex relationship with Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate who was one of the richest men in the world.

Goodwin's writing is vivid and engrossing, and she does a masterful job of weaving together fact and fiction. The novel is full of fascinating details about Callas's life, including her childhood in Nazi-occupied Greece, her rise to fame, and her love affair with Onassis. Goodwin also does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the time, from the glamour of the opera world to the scandal of Callas's relationship with Onassis.

Diva is a well-researched and well-written novel that is sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction and biographies. It is also a moving and insightful portrait of a complex and fascinating woman.

Here are some of the things that I liked about the novel:

Goodwin's research is evident throughout the novel. She has clearly done a lot of work to get the details right, from the historical events to the music to the fashion.
Goodwin's writing is engaging and evocative. She brings Callas to life in a way that makes the reader feel like they are right there with her, experiencing her triumphs and her tragedies.
The novel is well-paced and suspenseful. I was eager to find out what would happen next.
The novel is thought-provoking. It made me think about the nature of fame, love, and loss.
I recommend Diva to anyone who is interested in Maria Callas, opera, or historical fiction. It is a beautifully written and moving novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

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I love historical fiction written so well that you begin researching the true story. That’s what I experienced with Diva. I knew nothing about Maria Callas but I do now. What a battle of perseverance. Struggles with weight, men, family - so much of what we all deal with. She felt so real upon these pages. The story came to life and had me wanting to protect and save her from being used… and at times from herself. Such a smooth flow in the telling of this divas life. Great read!

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Daisy Goodwin's "Diva" is a literary composition that crescendos with the passion, ambition, and complexities of its characters, weaving a melodious tale of one woman's journey through the enigmatic world of opera.

In this opulent novel, Goodwin introduces us to the charismatic and determined Grace, a young woman with a voice that possesses the power to stir souls. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century London, the reader is transported to a time when the grand opera houses were cultural epicenters, and divas were both celebrated and scrutinized.

The author's prose is a virtuoso performance in itself, evoking the sights and sounds of Victorian England with unparalleled richness. Goodwin's attention to detail transforms the opera houses into living entities, and the performances into vivid symphonies that resonate with emotion. The narrative, much like a well-composed aria, moves effortlessly between the highs of Grace's triumphs and the lows of her personal sacrifices.

At the heart of "Diva" lies an exploration of the complexities of ambition and the price one is willing to pay for success. Grace's journey from a humble background to the dazzling world of opera is fraught with challenges that mirror the limitations society places on women's aspirations. Goodwin masterfully navigates the tightrope between portraying Grace's tenacity and vulnerability, making her a heroine that is both relatable and inspiring.

The supporting cast of characters adds depth to the story, each contributing a unique harmony to Grace's journey. From the enigmatic composer to the fellow performers with their rivalries and camaraderie, every character plays a vital role in creating a harmonious ensemble that encapsulates the multifaceted nature of the world behind the curtain.

While "Diva" hits all the right notes, there are instances where the pacing falters, slowing the momentum of the narrative. Yet, this decrescendo is often followed by a triumphant crescendo, much like the ebbs and flows of an opera itself. The ending, while satisfying, leaves room for readers to reflect on the broader themes of societal expectations, personal fulfillment, and the timeless allure of the performing arts.

"Diva" is a literary aria that resounds with the echoes of dreams pursued and obstacles overcome. Daisy Goodwin's storytelling is an immersive experience that envelops readers in the grandeur of the opera world while also delving into the human stories that play out behind the scenes. If you are drawn to stories of artistic passion, indomitable spirit, and the evergreen pursuit of dreams, "Diva" is a symphony of words that deserves a standing ovation.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Diva by Daisy Goodwin tells the story of soprano opera singer Maria Callas. Wow! What a story! I was hooked from the beginning. Maria came alive on these pages. Well written and well researched! Thank goodness for you tube to watch some of her arias! I highly recommend! Thank you to NetGallery and St Martins Press for letting me review this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

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I received this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I received this book, I didn't entirely know what to expect, it sounded good. I like historical fiction and throw in real historical figures? Even better. This book did just that. Not only is the focus of the book on Maria Callas, a real opera singer, but it ties in many historical figures who were involved in her life in one way or another. It accomplished this without sounding like a history book, though. It kept me engaged chapter to chapter and made me want to see how things played out, even knowing limited history of some of the people involved in the story.

As with any good historical fiction, it made me want search for more information about the characters presented in the book, more details about their lives and their stories.

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My thanks to St. Martin’s press for the ARC. The book was fantastic. I knew very little about Maria Callas and was pleased that her story did not leave wanting. It goes into the background of her childhood with a mother who did not appreciate her to her marriage and friends such as Franco Zefferilli. Her life and her feelings are captured extremely well in her relationship with Aristotle Onassis, a man who made being one of the world’s richest men seem fantastic. I will definitely have to study more about opera as she was amazing whenever she performed. It was a book that blended Maria the woman with Maria the world famous Diva. Highly recommend it-could not put it down!

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This book is FABULOUS! Congratulations to Ms. Goodwin for writing the sad, emotional saga of Maria Callas. Diva is the story of the Soprano singers life, her struggles with peers, men and a manipulative mother. I learned so much from this book and have listened to Maria’s songs. Thank you Net Galley for the ARC.

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