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Good Things I Wish You - A. Manette Ansay - Bogormen
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Good Things I Wish You - A. Manette Ansay
Title: Good Things I Wish You
Author: A. Manette Ansay
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 3/5
# pages: 254
Date read: July, 2009

Recently divorced Jeanette is trying to figure out how to juggle her book, her child, and suddenly being part of the "dating game" again. Especially the latter isn't going too well, until she meets German-born Hart. Although they both agree that the chemistry isn't there, they still feel some strange attraction, brought on - in part - by their mutual fascination by music.

As luck would have it, Jeanette's book is a fictionalized account of the lives of a German composer-trio, and she happily enlists Hart's assistance in translating letters and journal entries for her. Describing the friendship that grew between Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms during and after Robert Schumann's sickness and death, Jeanette is convinced the friendship was completely appropriate, and that any love between the two was purely platonic or even that of a mother and a son. Hart scoffs at this. "A man and a woman can never just be friends," he claims, and as if following his command, circumstances set out to attempt to prove him right.

Good Things I Wish You is a pleasant book and a quick read, but it is as if it can't really decide whether it wants to be a novel or a biography, so it twists and turns, and ends up becoming a bit of both. If I had any prior knowledge, or any personal interest in the lives of Clara and Johannes I think I would have absolutely adored this fictionalized account of their lives. As I don't have either, I couldn't help but feel that I was missing out on something, although it shows the quality of A. Manette Ansay's writing that I still enjoyed the book, and wasn't bored by the historical details. Instead I was charmed by the characters, and especially by the discovery of a book within the book.

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