The Year of the Lucy

The Year of the Lucy

Book - 1986
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Ashamed of her illegitimate birth, Mirelle Martin, a dutiful wife and mother, meets the warm, accepting concert pianist James Howell and emerges from her heartache to discover her talent as a sculptress and become her own woman.
Publisher: New York : T. Doherty Associates, c1986.
ISBN: 9780812585650
0812585658
9780312939816
0312939817
Branch Call Number: LPLC861125152015
Characteristics: 311 p. ;,22 cm.

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20KBT10
Sep 17, 2010

I was captivated by this book. It’s probably not a fashionable read as it’s a novel about a family, set in the early 1960’s. But it was fascinating, nevertheless. It’s funny, shocking, sad, evocative. It left me with a feeling of belonging but also a feeling of real “alienness”. Yes, I know that’s not a word.

What it did was to bring home how much society, how much the world has changed. I know it is fiction, but still…Perhaps it was the achingly familiar word-painted images within the book—I “got” some parts— that made a stark contrast with my current reality.

Family, responsibility, abuse, struggle to "be", careless cruelty, bravery, adultery, friendship, relationships. It’s all there.

...And I absolutely loved the ideas of “sick pigs.”

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20KBT10
Sep 17, 2010

Situation: A sick friend, Jamie Howell, is making a ruckus and being difficult because he’s “never sick”…

p.138
Mirelle leapt to the storage box and extracted a wad of clay. “To help Margaret, I’ll make a Howell pig to remind him (Jamie) of how difficult he is. […] I used to make little animals for the children when they were sickabed. I developed a series of beasties, usually with obnoxious expressions, and just gave them a hideous colors. Nick would be a blue mule when he wouldn’t take his medicine. Roman was a yellow ostrich. He always burrowed under the sheets to avoid a shot. […] The kids would play with then animals in bed, before I broke down and permitted TV in the house.”

“Are there any left?” Sylvia peered at the back of the storage shelves.

“No. They were just hardened clay and friable. In fact, the kids used to smash them in victory when they got well.”

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