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Hachette Book Group
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The Lucy Variations Kindle Edition
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|Length: 326 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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What would it be like to grow up as one, how would that change you?
The main character has lived through that. Lucy is such an adult in many ways and such a child in others, probably because she had a career as a world renowned pianist at a very young age but at the same time, her life was so controlled, her choices not her own that when she's left to her own devices, she's a bit of a mess. She skips school, is late to class, has inappropriate crushes. Lucy is not an easy character to like. Some of her decisions, well, you might not agree with them, but you can always see where she's coming from and that's the marking of a well developed character.
It's a classic coming of age story for a character that's quite grown up in some ways and not at all in others.
The downside: the book takes a while to build up and then in the last 20 pages or so everything seems to happen. I would have liked those last 20 pages to take some more space.
The third-person POV surprised me at first, but it was exactly right. I'm glad Zarr chose it. And Lucy's feelings for the older men in her life made complete sense, given the world she's moved in all her life. Will's early feelings for Lucy, too, were simply a grasping for something he'd been deprived of as a prodigy himself. It was the child artist recognizing the child artist. Also, well done, on the depiction of an English teacher we all wish we could have. Mr. Charles's wisdom in handling Lucy's complicated existence was heroic.
I love that Lucy behaved so well when she came to the realization that all was not as it seemed with the people in her life. She extended a grace to them that had never truly been extended to her, and she showed her heart. Mostly, though, I loved that this girl, who had witnessed some of the most beautiful things in the world--famous musicians, famous cities, the beauty of art--could admit to herself that it was only by slowing down and really engaging that she was able to see true beauty.
"Life was . . . good. And beautiful. And Lucy felt beautiful in it."
Oh Sara Zarr how you take ordinary words and make each one feel important and needed. Words should throw you a freaking parade!
I was lucky enough to attend the launch party of The Lucy Variations and was able to hear Sara share the very personal story of how this book came into being. She is an exceptional speaker because she speaks like she writes. Open, honest, and with heart.
The first time I met Sara, she was in the process of writing this book. She shared how she chose to write in third person and how she was already deciding that this might be the big flop of her career. I don't normally like third person but had just read and loved The Probability of Miracles which is a very well done third person YA book, so I knew it could be done well and I kind of assumed Sara Zarr could do it.
This book is so stinking beautiful and it makes you ask so many questions about your own life. My favorite question asked in the book is: What do you love? Because what we really truly love is life itself. One thing I love? Sara Zarr's simple, perfect prose. And how she seems to makes her stories seem effortless even though you know her whole heart and soul went into the pages...the very opposite of effortless.
Has a teeny tiny bit of swearing, but is noticeably clean.
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