Elizabeth Strout gives us the story of one woman's life — daughter, child, adult, wife, mother, patient, author — in My Name Is Lucy Barton. As Lucy recovers from a long illness in the hospital, her mother comes to visit; they've never been close, and Lucy's childhood was abysmal. Reminiscing about stories of their hometown, Lucy and her mother make a shaky, uneasy peace, but will it last? Told in straightforward, clear prose, Strout produces another beautiful read. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • A simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter in this extraordinary novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys.
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
"Writing of this quality comes from a commitment to listening, from a perfect attunement to the human condition, from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue." Hilary Mantel
"A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds....It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one." Marion Winik, Newsday
"Spectacular...smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom....[Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times." Lily King, The Washington Post
"There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to—'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy'—simple joy." Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller; Abide with Me, a national bestseller; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth Strout lives in New York City.