Skip to main content

The average chapter is 10-1/2 minutes; you can watch/read along, or just listen in the dark

The average chapter is 1012 minutes you can watchread along or just listen in the dark

Many years ago I read about Joanne Woodward's obsession with this book, how she re-read it every year, and her dream was to turn it into a film. I contacted her back then because I had an idea for her film, and I ended up writing a song about the book and her passion for it. My song is spoiler-free, so if this intrigues you at all, you can watch this video to help you decide if you'd like to read this book for yourself, or listen to me read it:

"The Song Of Lucy Gayheart" by Christine Lavin

Joanne Woodward is retired now, so she will never make this film, but I'm still hoping a filmmaker out there will turn her dream into a reality.

At the beginning of the pandemic I started reading the book, one chapter a night, and I got better at it as the project progressed. I even started adding music to it (it's the story of Lucy Gayheart, a 21-year-old rehearsal pianist for an opera singer, Clement Sebastian). He is a baritone, and Willa Cather sure knew her opera, so when I could find recordings of the songs Clement sang, I included them -- some are instrumentals, some are choral pieces -- so this became more than just a straight reading of Willa Cather's book.

If you're looking for something you can enjoy on headphones, or listening to every night as a bedtime story, I think you'll dig this book. It begins during the Christmas holidays of 1901, so the timing is just right.


approximately 6-1/2 hours — 36 chapters —

average chapter is 10-1/2 minutes

Chapter 1 and 2 of “Lucy Gayheart” 15-1/2 minutes

Chapter 3 "Lucy Gayheart” 20-1/2 minutes

Chapter 4: (w/music) 19:37

Chapter 5/6: 13:39

Chapter 7 15:27

Chapter 8/9 16:58

Chapter 10: 13:03

Chapter 11 of Willa Cather’s novella “Lucy Gayheart” 23:05

Chapters 12 & 13 of Willa Cather’s “Lucy Gayheart” 17:54

Chapter 14, 15, 16 - 30 minutes

Chapter 17: 13:45

Chapter 18 aloud: 13:00

Chap 19, 20, 21: 17-1/2 minutes





Book 2 Chapter 3&4


Lucy Gayheart Book 2, Chapters 5, 6, 7


Lucy Gayheart Book 2 Chapters 8 & 9


Book 2 Chapters 10 and 11


Run-up to final 4 chapters of LG 7:25

Book 3, Chapters 1 and 2 14:47

Lucy G Book 3 Chapter Book 3, Chapter 3 of “Lucy Gayheart” 19:53

Lucy Gayheart ending Book 3, Chapter 4 of “Lucy Gayheart”18:55

TOTAL: 391.25 min = approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes

Happy Holidays!