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Year of the Lucy Paperback – Feb 1 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (Feb. 1 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055212818X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552128186
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,910,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mirelle Martin finds herself increasingly discouraged by marital turmoil, depleted self-esteem, and a propensity to neglect her artistic talent. Mirelle loves her husband, Steve, but his intense, volatile personality exhausts her, as do his jealous, sometimes violent, tirades. Mirelle stoically endures these outbursts, although the caustic criticism she customarily receives from Steve's overbearing mother wears her down. The elder Mrs. Martin scorns Mirelle largely because she is the illegitimate daughter of a famous singer and the Hungarian painter Lajos Neagu. To placate her mother-in-law, Mirelle conceals her provocative heritage by refusing to seek widespread public attention for her sculptures. Such subservience always outraged her friend Lucy, who, before she died, exhorted Mirelle to be more assertive. Fortunately, the void Lucy left is suddenly filled by concert pianist James Howell, a lonely man who coaxes Mirelle to self-awareness, then falls in love with her. McCaffrey, best known for her science fiction fantasy , depicts Mirelle's predicament with sensitivity and credibility, and she perceptively delineates this troubled artist's creative temperament.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Disappointing "Romance" July 16 2003
By Silmarwen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mirelle Martin was different from all of the other housewives she met. Her mother was a famous soprano who married a handsome English lord, but he was not Mirelle's father. No, Mirelle's father was the Hungarian portrait painter, Lajos Neagu, who had an affair with Mirelle's mother while he painted her. In order to save her marriage, Mirelle's mother was forced to send her to live with a friend in the US where Mirelle grew up. Mirelle knew that her background was unusual, but she didn't really think it was anything to be ashamed of, until she met Steve. Steve was wonderful when they first met, so handsome and playful with her, unlike all of the other men that she knew. After they married, Mirelle tried her hardest to become the perfect wife and mother for their three children. Her past did not come up often and it didn't seem to matter to anyone - until her father died and left her some art in his will, acknowledging her as his daughter. Steve's parents were humiliated and made Mirelle feel cheap and unwanted. In order to spare them any embarrassment, Mirelle never talked about her past and tried to give up her sculpting to see to Steve's needs.
Steve was a salesman and traveled a lot in his work for the company. Mirelle tried to make new friends when they moved and that is how she first met Lucy, who tried to make Mirelle stand up for herself and her art and to be someone instead of just Steve's wife. But when Steve's job forced them to move again, Mirelle couldn't stand the heartbreak of leaving more friends behind so she isolated herself. When she heard of Lucy's death, it sparked a change within her and Mirelle started sculpting again, started living again. Then she met James Howell, the handsome pianist who lived nearby and an attraction developed between them. Mirelle was lonely and Steve was so judgmental these days, she needed someone who understood the urge to create and to display talent in an artistic way. But was Mirelle ready to make such big changes in her life? As Mirelle lives through the year after her friend's death, she risks everything to make her life more meaningful...
As I expected from McCaffrey, this book is well written and the characters are quite engaging, especially Mirelle, who really blossomed in this book. I wish that we could have seem more of Lucy and I felt that Steve was a kind of shadow figure, but, for the most part, the secondary characters were fun to get to know. I didn't particularly enjoy the relationship between Mirelle & James, who became more than just friends at one point in the book. Mirelle is married and knows that Steve has cheated on her while he is away on sales trips, but she justifies her relationship with James by saying that she doesn't care about sex, it is just an act and means nothing. This really turned me off and I felt that the romance between Steve & Mirelle and Mirelle & James was shallow and neither man meant that much to Mirelle. I enjoyed watching Mirelle grow and her sculpting develop, but this book is basically a story about two love triangles, Mirelle's mother, her husband & the handsome painter and Mirelle, her husband & her handsome neighbor with history being repeated. I can understand why the book went out of print because it is a bit dated in its context and it is hard to justify a husband and wife both cheating on each other and thinking that it didn't matter.
interesting character study Dec 18 2012
By R. Welter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've read this book multiple times - bought it when it was first published, and go back to it every few years. The characterizations are either not as strong as those in the Pern/Talents/Crystal Singer books, or the speculative fiction elements in those books overshadow the characters enough so that it's not as noticeable.

I've always felt that this book was an interesting study of those times that many marriages go through where the partners are re-evaluating their growth as compared with the growth of the marriage. In this case, the story posits a more dramatic reconsideration than I think many go through, but the growth in the main character was done well. I liked that secondary characters had lives of their own outside their relationship with the main character, as well as the atypical careers that most of the characters held (tell me, how often do you see a concern accompianist or a sculptor in a book??).

Dated, of course by now, but even a bit dated in the mid-80's when published. Attitudes and mores more typical of late 60's-early 70's, but we don't know how long it sat in a drawer before it was published.

Satisfying at times, just don't expect dragons!
Wonderful book about self growth May 24 2010
By Spuria Iris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The heroine is a wonderful artist hiding her talent because of a difficult mother-in-law. During the course of the book she learns to stand up for herself; make new friends, and expand her expression through her sculpture. This is a great book.
Anne McCaffrey is the best Oct. 6 2014
By Susan Jarrett-Norton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Lovely book. One that I could read over and over again.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A very human story -- this could be you Oct. 11 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The Year of the Lucy" is one of the best McCaffrey books I have read. It is not like the Pern series, but is a real life story of a woman trying to find herself. It is excellent.

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