Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

The acclaimed author of Vinegar Hill returns with a story of two unlikely romances—one historical, the other modern-day—separated by thousands of miles and well over a century.

Battling feelings of loss and apathy in the wake of a painful divorce, novelist Jeanette struggles to complete a book about the long-term relationship between Clara Schumann, a celebrated pianist and the wife of the composer Robert Schumann, and her husband's protégé, the handsome young composer Johannes Brahms. Although this legendary love triangle has been studied exhaustively, Jeanette—herself a gifted pianist—wonders about the enduring nature of Clara and Johannes's lifelong attachment. Were they just "best friends," as both steadfastly claimed? Or was the relationship complicated by desires that may or may not have been consummated?

Through a chance encounter, Jeanette meets Hart, a mysterious, worldly entrepreneur who is a native of Clara's birthplace, Leipzig, Germany. Hart's casual help with translations quickly blossoms into something more. There are things about men and women, he insists, that do not change. The two embark on a whirlwind emotional journey that leads Jeanette across Germany and Switzerland to a crossroads similar to that faced by Clara Schumann—also a mother, also an artist—more than a century earlier.

Accompanied by photographs, sketches, and notes from past and present, A. Manette Ansay's original blend of fiction and history captures the timeless nature of love and friendship between women and men.

Published: HarperCollins on Jun 30, 2009
ISBN: 9780061887871
List price: $10.39
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Good Things I Wish You
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

I recently read Clara by Janice Galloway, which is another novelisation of aspects of Clara Schumann's life (mostly before marrying Schumann), which I enjoyed, but it didn't spark the same sort of emotion which this one did. I thought this beautiful and emotive and despite (or perhaps because of) the interspersed modern sections, I really felt I was getting into Clara's life... Will now have to look out for other things by this author.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I always hoped someone would write a novel about the relationship between Brahms and Clara Schumann This isn't quite it, but maybe as good as we are ever going to get. The book is short, easy to read, and has not a dull passage in it. Ansay is flat out good.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was well-written and very timely. It stoked my curiosity to learn more about musical contemporaries. It also helped me, as a writer, to realize that not every story must be linear nor does it have to be wrapped up neatly at the end. Life isn't wrapped up neatly, is it?I like very much Ansay's writing style and her ability to capture the world as we live in it today. She also handled well the interior life of the story's narrator. As I was thinking about the book, I realized that I never quite pictured the narrator Jeanette in my head because I was reading her first person from the first person. At times, it felt like the story was mine. (But that's for another day.)I was a little disappointed in how the idea of deja vu was interwoven into the story, but as I finished reading it, I became less anxious that that particular thread wasn't going to come to fruition because I understood that it was just one part of the over-arching story. And, frankly, since time shifting, reincarnation and deja vu all play a part in the story I am currently writing, I was glad to see that I am, in no way, repeating any part of this story.I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys music, discovery and well-written stories about the untidiness of life.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Before reading this book, I did not know anything about Clara Schumann and her (love)life, which is a pinnacle this story revolves around. The other main character is a single mother, writing a book about Clara. I think the concept of the book is good, but the characters failed to grip me. It's not a bad novel, but not one I will reread again.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you are interested in music history and a little romanc mixed together this is the book for you. This story begins with an author trying to write the histrorical relationship between Clara Shumann and Johannes Brahams and ends up living a parralell love in the process. I delightful romance, a very fast, easy read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
From My blog...Is it possible for men and women to be just friends and in the same vein how does one define art? Two seemingly arbitrary questions are proven to be inter-related in Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay through her use of relationships both historical and contemporary. These questions and many more are covered in this novel, rich in lyrical prose, charming characters with similar lives centuries apart. Jeanette is recently divorced and misses her husband Carl. When not at the University, spending her time with her daughter or playing piano, Jeanette is working on her book about the 40-year relationship between Clara Schumann and her husband’s protégé Johannes Brahms. As Jeanette begins her story, she is waiting for her date to appear. Reinhardt Hempel, a scientist from Leipzig, the birthplace of Clara, intrigues her and is the first man she has dated in nineteen years. Ansay writes in a beautiful and lyrical manner, alternating from her childhood as a piano student, to present, and back to the 1850s with Clara and Robert Schumann and his protégé, Johannes Brahms. As the stories unfold one becomes involved in two affairs, the present with Jeanette and Reinhardt and the past between Clara, Robert and ultimately Johannes. There are similarities in the two parallel relationships and even though this is a work of fiction one gets a glimpse at the complex relationship between the Schumanns and Brahms through letters and photos Ansey weaves into the story. Good Things I Wish You is a beautiful, tender, and wonderful read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a delightful book to read in an afternoon.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

I recently read Clara by Janice Galloway, which is another novelisation of aspects of Clara Schumann's life (mostly before marrying Schumann), which I enjoyed, but it didn't spark the same sort of emotion which this one did. I thought this beautiful and emotive and despite (or perhaps because of) the interspersed modern sections, I really felt I was getting into Clara's life... Will now have to look out for other things by this author.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I always hoped someone would write a novel about the relationship between Brahms and Clara Schumann This isn't quite it, but maybe as good as we are ever going to get. The book is short, easy to read, and has not a dull passage in it. Ansay is flat out good.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was well-written and very timely. It stoked my curiosity to learn more about musical contemporaries. It also helped me, as a writer, to realize that not every story must be linear nor does it have to be wrapped up neatly at the end. Life isn't wrapped up neatly, is it?I like very much Ansay's writing style and her ability to capture the world as we live in it today. She also handled well the interior life of the story's narrator. As I was thinking about the book, I realized that I never quite pictured the narrator Jeanette in my head because I was reading her first person from the first person. At times, it felt like the story was mine. (But that's for another day.)I was a little disappointed in how the idea of deja vu was interwoven into the story, but as I finished reading it, I became less anxious that that particular thread wasn't going to come to fruition because I understood that it was just one part of the over-arching story. And, frankly, since time shifting, reincarnation and deja vu all play a part in the story I am currently writing, I was glad to see that I am, in no way, repeating any part of this story.I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys music, discovery and well-written stories about the untidiness of life.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Before reading this book, I did not know anything about Clara Schumann and her (love)life, which is a pinnacle this story revolves around. The other main character is a single mother, writing a book about Clara. I think the concept of the book is good, but the characters failed to grip me. It's not a bad novel, but not one I will reread again.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you are interested in music history and a little romanc mixed together this is the book for you. This story begins with an author trying to write the histrorical relationship between Clara Shumann and Johannes Brahams and ends up living a parralell love in the process. I delightful romance, a very fast, easy read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
From My blog...Is it possible for men and women to be just friends and in the same vein how does one define art? Two seemingly arbitrary questions are proven to be inter-related in Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay through her use of relationships both historical and contemporary. These questions and many more are covered in this novel, rich in lyrical prose, charming characters with similar lives centuries apart. Jeanette is recently divorced and misses her husband Carl. When not at the University, spending her time with her daughter or playing piano, Jeanette is working on her book about the 40-year relationship between Clara Schumann and her husband’s protégé Johannes Brahms. As Jeanette begins her story, she is waiting for her date to appear. Reinhardt Hempel, a scientist from Leipzig, the birthplace of Clara, intrigues her and is the first man she has dated in nineteen years. Ansay writes in a beautiful and lyrical manner, alternating from her childhood as a piano student, to present, and back to the 1850s with Clara and Robert Schumann and his protégé, Johannes Brahms. As the stories unfold one becomes involved in two affairs, the present with Jeanette and Reinhardt and the past between Clara, Robert and ultimately Johannes. There are similarities in the two parallel relationships and even though this is a work of fiction one gets a glimpse at the complex relationship between the Schumanns and Brahms through letters and photos Ansey weaves into the story. Good Things I Wish You is a beautiful, tender, and wonderful read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a delightful book to read in an afternoon.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd