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Good Things I Wish You [Paperback]

Manette Ansay
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 2010

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 protégé, 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755329929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755329922
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,198,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Reminiscent of "The French Lieutenant's Woman, Good Things I Wish You" employs a rich and daring metafictional spin on one of the great romances in history to investigate passion and love--and what doesn't change between women and men. Manette Ansay takes great risks to deliver great rewards."--Stewart O'Nan

Book Description

A novel that has been compared to THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN and POSSESSION - an ambitious new literary departure for New York Times bestselling author Manette Ansay

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Iconic Love 7 May 2013
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The relationship between Brahms, Schumann and Clara Schumann has been much documented, and fictionalized by novelists including Janice Galloway and JD Landis. Manette Ansay takes quite a clever angle on the story, narrating her novel from the point of view of a writer and academic who is trying to write a novel about the Brahms/Schumann/Clara triangle and feels that it strikes a chord with experiences of her own.

Jeanette Hochmann is a former star piano student, now working as an academic at a university in Miami and writing prolifically (whether academic books or novels on the whole we never find out). She has long been fascinated by the relationship between Brahms and Clara Schumann - why didn't they marry? Were they lovers or just friends? Jeanette is divorced from a difficult husband with depressive issues, and is bringing up their daughter. In an attempt to find a new partner, she joins a dating agency and meets Hart, a German entrepreneur, intelligent, handsome and very secretive. Jeanette tells him about her novel, and he offers to translate some of the Clara Schumann correspondence and other relevant material into German. As Jeanette becomes more engrossed in Clara and Brahms's story, she also finds herself increasingly drawn to Hart. But is it love? And what is Hart hiding from her?

As someone who's a big fan of the music of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms (and of Clara Schumann) I really enjoyed reading the historical bits of this novel, the bits where Jeanette attempts to imagine what it was really like to be Clara, Johannes Brahms or Robert Schumann, and how their situation and the attachment between Clara and Brahms may have developed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 30 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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