21 March 2015

Review: The Lucy Variations

The Lucy Variations
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once upon the time, I was somewhat serious about music. Went to college for it, the whole nine yards. I was never as serious as Lucy or Lucy's family in The Lucy Variations, but I did see a lot here that I recognized from others, and this story was both wonderful and heartbreaking because of that.

Lucy quit music months earlier due to how she felt her priorities were being governed following the death of her grandmother. Worse for her family, she quit right before she was going to take part in a major international competition in a rather spectacular fashion. With the aftermath of this and how it has impacted her family, as well as how it's changed things for her younger brother, the story is really about Lucy's growth and redemption as well as the complicated relationship many of us have with art.

It works because you don't have to be a musician to appreciate the struggle here, both in terms of identity and familial expectations. It definitely doesn't hurt that Lucy is likable and her issues entirely valid. The issues she deals with, some of the problems she runs into during the course of the book, I've seen it first-hand. It's real, and I can see this being just as valid for sports jocks as it would be for the more arts-oriented.

Read this. Read it whether you relate or not, give it to people in your life who are struggling with their issues of personal identity and such. It's a great read that I shouldn't have waited so long to pick up.

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