The Joyce Girl: A Novel of Jazz Age Paris

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Lucia Joyce wants nothing more than to be known for her independent spirit, exceptional dancing, and remarkable clairvoyance. Unfortunately, she is The Joyce Girl, daughter of James Joyce, one of the most renowned writers of all time. To make a name for herself, she will have to carve out a space that hasn’t been touched by her father; no small feat in 1930s Paris.

Annabel Abbs relates the tragic and beautiful story of Lucia Joyce with precision and heartbreaking detail. As Lucia pursues a dancing career, she begins to achieve real success, only to have it thwarted by her selfish and shortsighted parents. As she begins a secret infatuation with one of her father’s greatest admirers, the Irish writer Samuel Beckett, she also becomes entangled with other men who would have her as their wife. The pull of her own talents and ambitions is so strong that there is cause for alarm as her mental health deteriorates and she is sent to work with Carl Jung, a psychoanalyst who—at the request of her father—is tasked with helping the girl. But what help can there be for a young woman who only wants to live her own life?

The Joyce Girl is a delicate and destructive joy to read. While your heart breaks for Lucia, you will also be inspired by her.

Reviewed By:

Author Annabel Abbs
Star Count 5/5
Format Paperback Picture Book
Page Count 480 pages
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 2020-06-02
ISBN 9780062912879
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2020
Category Historical Fiction


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