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Sara Zarr: The Lucy Variations

There’s a dismissive tone when some people talk about why they do or don’t read young-adult literature. It’s pure escapism; it’s all about vampires, romance or dystopias; it’s “easier” to read than adult fiction. These people have not read Sara Zarr.

In The Lucy Variations, Zarr looks at a complicated, driven family, with 16-year-old Lucy—a former international piano superstar—at its center. Lucy walked away from the music world two years earlier, leaving behind the fame and adoration, and even the acceptance of her grandfather and mother. As Lucy, used to living in a world of cocktail parties and adult conversation, struggles to adjust to her new life as a “normal” teen, further complications arise when her younger brother’s new piano teacher—a former prodigy himself—seems to have an interest in Lucy beyond rekindling her love of music.

Each of Zarr’s books has been a departure from the last in terms of theme and plot, with the thread that links them all together being Zarr’s deceivingly simple prose and often-wrenching emotional insight into her flawed, at times unlikeable characters as they navigate the world. Even as Lucy makes choices that cause the reader to want to look away, you can’t help but become fully invested in Lucy, her family and future happiness, as she tries to work herself out from under the sometimes-crushing expectations and pressures of others, and find the person she needs and wants to be.

Zarr will read from and sign her fifth book at its hometown launch at The King’s English. (Rachel Piper)

Date: May 7, 2013
Time: 7 pm
Phone: 801-484-9100
Address: 1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City , 84105
Where: The King's English Bookshop