I have been wanting to read an Elizabeth Strout novel for a while now. I have had her book Olive Kitteridge for over a year and have not read it yet. So when I saw her newest novel My Name Is Lucy Barton on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. This examines the life of a mother, wife and author named Lucy Barton. It centers on a time when she is hospitalized and her estranged mother comes to visit her in the hospital. Those five days with her mother branch out to have a far reaching impact on the rest of her life.
Moving fluidly between the different stages of Lucy’s life, childhood, marriage, motherhood and beyond My Name Is Lucy Barton is a wide-sweeping tale of the heart of a person. This is not a read where anything is solved, great questions are debated, family rifts are healed or the like. It is more of a stream of thought bouncing around a life well lived and highlighting certain instances that helped shape who Lucy Barton is. I usually don’t care for this type of book, but the lyrical quality of the writing propelled this past the ordinary and made you feel as if the main character was actually speaking to you.
The world built was strong, the pacing was a little disjointing at first as chapters can leap twenty years forward or back, but by a few chapters in it was unnoticeable. The characters were strong and believable. It was the writing, however, that elevated this novel. It was so entrenched in emotion, each sentence built so beautifully on the previous. Elizabeth Strout is truly a gem of a writer and My Name Is Lucy Barton is a gem of a read.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.