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Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather

Lucy Gayheart (1935)

by Willa Cather

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377628,622 (3.97)47
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    Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín (pacocillero)
    pacocillero: Aunque el estilo es muy distinto las historias convergen en que son las dos mujeres que emigran buscando un cambio en sus vidas.

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Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather; VMC, ROOT; (5*)

This slender novel filled me with nostalgia and a renewed love for the small town life that I have always lived. This is, hands down, Willa Cather at her best.

It is the story of Lucy Gayheart, a young pianist who leaves small town, Nebraska and travels to Chicago to study music. She becomes a rehearsal pianist for an opera singer. The book follows Lucy's life, her loves and the tragedies that affect her life and that of those around her. It is a haunting story of youth and regrets.

As in some of Cather's other works there is a contrast between small town Nebraska and big city Chicago with each having its virtues and its flaws. As always Cather's characters are well rounded and her locale and character descriptions are vividly painted. The way her characters observe and interact with each other is a wonder to read.

This contains some of the loveliest writing I've come across for a while. Cather writes with simplicity yet with such beauty. There is just so very much within her words. Every page contains some of the most beautiful prose you'll ever read. Though hardly well acclaimed, this dark novel is a treasure. It ends with such a haunting epilogue.

I think that Willa Cather was somehow an instinctively great writer. One would perhaps expect this little book to be light reading but I did not find it so. Tragedy is key in this novel because it is the insight that gets conveyed after the fact that gives this work it's depth. ( )
  rainpebble | May 20, 2016 |
while not at the level of O Pioneers or My Antonia, this is a well drawn study of love and loss.

( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
while not at the level of O Pioneers or My Antonia, this is a well drawn study of love and loss.

( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
while not at the level of O Pioneers or My Antonia, this is a well drawn study of love and loss.

( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Lucy Gayheart grows up in the small town of Haverford in the midwest. She becomes a fixture in the town, with her happy personality and outgoing nature.

When she goes off to Chicago to study music, the town and her family misses her. She becomes infatuated with a singer and becomes his accompanist.

She has friends from home and sees a number of them periodically but then something surprising happens with a man she had been seeing.

It is almost as if this sad thing unjustly happened to a wonderful woman and it is easy to picture this being made into a film. ( )
  mikedraper | May 31, 2013 |
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In Harverford on the Platte the townspeople still talk of Lucy Gayheart.
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Book description
Lucy Gayheart is a talented pianist, a woman of grace and vitality with "that singular brightness of young beauty". It is 1901 and she is studying music in the magical smoky city of Chicago, returning occasionally to provincial Haverford, the town of her birth. She meets and falls in love with a middle-aged opera singer, a man whose influence will change the course of her life forever. First published in 1935, this resonant novel is much more than a simple love story. For, rejecting the commonplaces of small-town life, Lucy seeks the splendour of an "invisible, inviolable world" glimpsed through her music. In contrasting the possibilities of each, Willa Cather has produced a novel of clarity and quiet distinction.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679728880, Paperback)

"Some people's lives are affected by what happens to their person or their property, but for others fate is what happens to their feelings and their thoughts—that and nothing more." In this haunting 1935 novel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of My Ántonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop performs a series of crystalline variations on the themes that preoccupy her greatest fiction: the impermanence of innocence, the opposition between prairie and city, provincial American values and world culture, and the grandeur, elation, and heartache that await a gifted young woman who leaves her small Nebraska town to pursue a life in art.At the age of eighteen, Lucy Gayheart heads for Chicago to study music. She is beautiful and impressionable and ardent, and these qualities attract the attention of Clement Sebastian, an aging but charismatic singer who exercises all the tragic, sinister fascination of a man who has renounced life only to turn back to seize it one last time. Out of their doomed love affair—and Lucy's fatal estrangement from her origins—Willa Cather creates a novel that is as achingly lovely as a Schubert sonata.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Fervently pursuing the life of an artist, a young music student leaves behind her small midwestern town existence and comes to know the elation and heartache of a life in the creative world.

Legacy Library: Willa Cather

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