GOOD THINGS I WISH YOU by Manette Ansay portrays two extraordinary women, and two love stories separated by centuries - an ingenious fusion of fiction and fact, inspired by the story of Clara Schumann.
Forty-two and newly divorced, Jeanette Hochmann is trying to reassemble her life with her young daughter.
Lately, the world seems bereft of the passion that's always inspired and sustained her, first as a child prodigy at the piano, later as a novelist. Now, she's struggling to write a novel based on the relationship between nineteenth-century German pianist Clara Schumann and her husband's handsome young protege, the composer Johannes Brahms.
Was theirs just a close friendship, or was it something more? As Jeanette delves deeper into Clara's story, she uncovers uncanny parallels with her own life. And just when she's least expecting it, she embarks on a love affair of her own.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 01/03/2010
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780755329922
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Review by turtlesleap
Another one of those novels which draw a parallel between the experiences of the contemporary characters and the experiences of the historical characters in which they are interested; in this case, about which one of the characters is writing. I'm not fond of this literary tool. It always seems very affected to me, and far too "pat." In this case, the problem is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Clara Schumann is one of those fascinating historical characters about whom I really enjoy reading. Sadly, this book doesn't go far toward feeding that hunger for information. The "history" is necessarily speculative but is constantly apologizing for providing the reader what he/she should have expected---a work of fiction based on the life of a historical character. It's quite a muddle.