Sunday, December 20, 2015

Depths in simplicity

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

If there is one quote from this novel that both sums it up, and yet is also the exact opposite of what this story tries to do, it is this: "we never know, and never would know, what it would be like to understand another person fully. It seems a simple thought, but as I get older I see more and more that she had to tell us that." The "she" in this quote refers to Sarah Payne, an author that holds a writing workshop that Lucy attends. This is a very truthful and telling line, both for writers and readers alike. Yet, this is exactly what authors attempt to convey to their readers - a story where we can understand another person fully. That Elizabeth Strout (author of the Pulitzer Prize winning collection of short stories Olive Kittredge) is able to reveal the character of Lucy Barton to her readers so fully, is only part of her genius. The other part is that she does it with such economy of text (just over 200 pages), making this book virtually magical.

You can read my full review of this book on my new blog here.

"My Name is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout, US release date January 16, 2016 (UK release date February 6, 2016), is available for pre-order from, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books (USA, UK, Canada & Australia), iTunes, The Book Depository (free worldwide delivery) as well as from an IndieBound store near you. I would like to thank the publishers for allowing me to read an ARC of this book via NetGalley.
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