The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Redd Becker Book Review

Sara Zarr takes us into the world of classical piano competitions in The Lucy Variations.  At the beginning of the story, we find  that Lucy walked off stage at a high level competition. Her Sara Zarrfamily did not take it well. From there, Lucy must navigate within her new world, a world without playing piano.

Although her family pushed Lucy beyond her emotional limit, her passion for music remains clear. Her life doesn’t feel complete without it. While struggling to make her own decisions among the adults who control her life, she befriends her brother’s teacher. His affect on her life is questionable.

By placing Lucy in the world of competitive music, Zarr creates a coming-of-age story that takes you out of our everyday world. Although such high-stakes competition is foreign to most of us, it is understandable. We can all relate to the pressures Lucy feels, the betrayals she confronts, and her struggle to do what she knows is right for herself. Lucy works through her issues like a true heroine, someone we’d like to emulate if we were in a similar situation.

Accolades for Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr writes stories with strong female heroines. She received the National Book Award Finalist award for Story of a Girl. The National Book Foundation conducted an interview with her after the award that provides insights to the writer as well as the story.

The Lucy Variations by Sara ZarrThe Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
on May 7th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Coming of Age
Pages: 309
Goodreads

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?
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.

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