Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What is Sara Zarr reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished Better Food for a Better World, by Erin McGraw (The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard), the debut book of a new publishing venture, Slant Books. It's about love and marriage and family ties, but not in the way any other book I've read is about love and marriage and family ties. It's funny, for one thing. I laughed more while I read this book than I've laughed with a novel in a long time. It's not just funny, though. McGraw manages to hold hope, loss, and longing together in a deft balance with the humor, a lot like one of the side characters--a juggler named Fredd--negotiates a mug, a napkin, and a wristwatch during his act:
Vivy couldn't imagine how he kept all the oddly weighted objects in rotation, much less how he could do so while he showboated, catching the wristwatch under his leg, strolling around the stage, whistling.
Vivy is the lead in the book, though the storytelling job is shared by several viewpoint characters and the Greek chorus of the community's semi-absurd marriage group, Life Ties. (I say "semi" because anyone who has been part of a church group, an encounter group, or part of an overly self-aware family will probably recognize the real experience here.) Vivy and her husband and friends...[read on]
About The Lucy Variations, from the publisher:
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 one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. To find 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.
Learn more about the book and author at Sara Zarr's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Sara Zarr (June 2011).

Writers Read: Sara Zarr.

--Marshal Zeringue