Book Review by Aarene Storms: The Lucy Variations

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Lucy Beck-Moreau was world-famous as a child prodigy at the piano, but at age 16, minutes before taking the stage at an illustrious competition in Prague, she walked away from the piano. Her family was furious, but Lucy was adament: she did not want to spend her life competing and performing anymore.
Eight months have passed, and the family's attention is now focused on Lucy's 10-year-old brother Gus, who is preparing for his first major public performance. Lucy wants to help Gus, but she can't help being intrigued by the new piano teacher: a former prodigy himself, Will is attractive, attentive ... and married.
Lucy's social development was clearly impaired by her years of grueling practice and performance scheduling, but with the help of a few friends, she's learning to relate to her age-mates. The characters are well-rounded, the dialogues are terrific, and the relationships (even the inappropriate ones) are compelling. This is a well-written story of a teen who is beginning to make decisions for herself.
Recommended for ages 13 to adult. A few kisses, and a bit of underage drinking, but nothing to alarm most readers.
The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS

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