Jennifer's Reviews > Good Things I Wish You

Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay
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Jun 29, 10

Read from June 28 to 30, 2010

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Is it possible for men and women to be just friends and in the same vein how does one define art? Two seemingly arbitrary questions are proven to be inter-related in Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay through her use of relationships both historical and contemporary. These questions and many more are covered in this novel, rich in lyrical prose, charming characters with similar lives centuries apart. Jeanette is recently divorced and misses her husband Carl. When not at the University, spending her time with her daughter or playing piano, Jeanette is working on her book about the 40-year relationship between Clara Schumann and her husband’s protégé Johannes Brahms. As Jeanette begins her story, she is waiting for her date to appear. Reinhardt Hempel, a scientist from Leipzig, the birthplace of Clara, intrigues her and is the first man she has dated in nineteen years. Ansay writes in a beautiful and lyrical manner, alternating from her childhood as a piano student, to present, and back to the 1850s with Clara and Robert Schumann and his protégé, Johannes Brahms. As the stories unfold one becomes involved in two affairs, the present with Jeanette and Reinhardt and the past between Clara, Robert and ultimately Johannes. There are similarities in the two parallel relationships and even though this is a work of fiction one gets a glimpse at the complex relationship between the Schumanns and Brahms through letters and photos Ansey weaves into the story. Good Things I Wish You is a beautiful, tender, and wonderful read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a delightful book to read in an afternoon.
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