“A lyrical, haunting exploration of loves past and present. Witty, sprightly, surprising, this deeply original and utterly captivating new novel ... beguiles the senses and dazzles the heart. A beautiful book.” —Diana Abu-Jaber
“As the parallels between the two relationships multiply, the novel catches fire. . . . Ansay is a gifted and sure-handed storyteller.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
From the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Vinegar Hill and Midnight Champagne comes a beautifully written story of two summer romances—one of a brilliant pianist, one of a struggling novelist—separated in time by nearly two centuries. If you enjoy the novels of Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), Claire Messud (The Emperor's Children), and Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin), you’ll find much to love in A. Manette Ansay’s stunningly original Good Things I Wish You.
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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.From the Back Cover:
The acclaimed author of Vinegar Hill returns with a story of two unlikely romances—one historical, the other modern-day—separated by thousands of miles and well over a century.
Battling feelings of loss and apathy in the wake of a painful divorce, novelist Jeanette struggles to complete a book about the long-term relationship between Clara Schumann, a celebrated pianist and the wife of the composer Robert Schumann, and her husband's protégé, the handsome young composer Johannes Brahms. Although this legendary love triangle has been studied exhaustively, Jeanette—herself a gifted pianist—wonders about the enduring nature of Clara and Johannes's lifelong attachment. Were they just "best friends," as both steadfastly claimed? Or was the relationship complicated by desires that may or may not have been consummated?
Through a chance encounter, Jeanette meets Hart, a mysterious, worldly entrepreneur who is a native of Clara's birthplace, Leipzig, Germany. Hart's casual help with translations quickly blossoms into something more. There are things about men and women, he insists, that do not change. The two embark on a whirlwind emotional journey that leads Jeanette across Germany and Switzerland to a crossroads similar to that faced by Clara Schumann—also a mother, also an artist—more than a century earlier.
Accompanied by photographs, sketches, and notes from past and present, A. Manette Ansay's original blend of fiction and history captures the timeless nature of love and friendship between women and men.
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