Monday, March 28, 2016

My Name is Lucy Barton

My Name is Lucy Barton
By Elizabeth Strout
Random House, 2016. 193 pgs. Fiction

“My Name is Lucy Barton” centers around the nine week hospital visit of a young mother and aspiring writer.  During this period, her estranged mother comes to visit and sit with her, stirring up memories and emotions from a childhood of poverty.  Lucy describes being ostracized and teased for her inadequate hygiene, a result of her family’s lack of running water.  But a youth spent in solitude opened doors and Lucy escapes to a university and a better life.

Elizabeth Strout is a remarkable storyteller.  Lucy is possibly the most human protagonist I have ever encountered in literature.  She tells her story with honesty and a bit of wonder that I found completely charming.  She is a daughter, wife, and mother but she is also this self-contained individual discovering herself, as most of us do, slowly and throughout a lifetime.  I highly recommend “My Name is Lucy Barton”, especially for book clubs that lean toward the literary.


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