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“In this age of glorious literary excess, of high conceptualizing and big novelizing, it takes some courage to write a simple love story. . . . John Burnham Schwartz takes the risk in his third novel, writing spare, elegant prose.” —The New York Times Book Review
“You’ll want to finish this most seductive book in one sitting. Don’t. Put it down and let it color your dreamscape. The characters are that vivid, the book so wise you will be moved and enriched.” —Frank McCourt
“A beautifully told love story.” —Harper’s Bazaar
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted October 12, 2012
Posted December 16, 2011
I don't usually enjoy anything labeled under the romance genre but every once in awhile I find an author that can convey an intelligent message that makes it worthwhile reading. In "Claire Marvel," Schwartz shows how truly complex human emotions can be..."choices made, inexplicable mistakes"..simple? maybe, but definitely life changing. Each sentence in this beautifully crafted novel resonates with such strong feelings that I was totally enthralled from beginning to end with this sad but beautiful love story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2007
I don't normally read romance novels and to be honest have never liked the genre but this is a true exception. This book is simply magnificent. Theres no other way to put it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 4, 2003
This novel is a pure delight. The characters, settings, and plot are mezmerizing. The fresh and intellegent prose alone is a pleasure. Claire Marvel is among my favorite novels. I could read it again and again, and I will.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 29, 2002
The book is very slow, yet the story sounded promising, so I continued. But I eventually was disappointed. Although books need not be full of action, love stories should at least describe emotions, something the author does not. Till the end I wanted to know the outcome but the story kept dragging on, so I started to skip a page, then pages, then chapters. Too bad, because the main character is a pleasingly sensitive and considerate man, rather a rarity in novels. And if for no other reason than that I would have liked the book to succeed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2002
Simply put 'Claire Marvel' is a triumph. A love story rendered in singing prose it is compelling and heartrending, exciting and true. 'There was before her and now there is after her,' it begins, ' and that is the difference in my life.' Two Harvard graduate students meet by chance on a rainy day. Claire offers Julian cover beneath her umbrella, a chance encounter which will forever change them both. They are very much alike these two, although each puzzles the other. They are drawn to one another, a love affair begins yet it is as if their bodies have connected but not their souls. After a time Claire asks Julian to join her in France but their idyll is short-lived. Upon returning to the United States she chooses to marry someone else. Nonetheless, the connection between Julian and Claire remains, a link that influences the future even after Julian, too, marries another. It is in the exploration of this abiding connectedness that the novel glows, contemplating what might have been, pondering deathless hope, and probing the impenetrable workings of the human heart. 'Claire Marvel' is an exemplary achievement. Read it and rejoice; read it and weep.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2002
Posted December 6, 2001
After I finished this book, I buried my head in my hands and cried. The broad scope, the raw emotion, the tender prose; rarely do books affect me like this. Claire Marvel touched me deeply. By chance, I stumbled across this beautiful and melancholic story, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever loved and lost. This is one of the best books I've read this year.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.