Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.In the book we have Lucy who is a child prodigy for the piano. She was molded in her grandfathers image of what a successful musician should be, even though she was a small child. She loved the music, but when that became the only world she saw, she became tired of the whole competition scene. She missed so much and after a family betrayal, she walked away. However, can you put that much pressure on a child and expect them to decide what they will or won't do for the rest of their life at the age of 15/16? It's this theme as well as growing into adulthood is what the book is all about.
There were some parts that people may not like. There was some very close to inappropriate behavior from the older adult crushes she had. It never went too far, however, and they also became springboards for her growth. It also made sense that she would have these crushes on older adults since her childhood was filled with adults and looking for that approval from them. She had to grow and relearn much of what may have otherwise come naturally.
I do admit I didn't like Will, an older prodigy who helps her get back to what she loved who does skate closer to the inappropriate behavior than any other character. His manipulations were angering, but I loved the way Lucy handled it in the end. So, I thought her behavior in the end was more adult than then adults that surrounded her. Lucy had great character growth. She does adress his behavior in a very adult manner. Much more adult than Will showed. Without that growth, I'd have to say I would have not liked this book at all.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars. It is a good character growth book and a good music book. It's about finding out who you are and what you love in life.
I received this eARC from Little Brown and no compensation for my review was given.