Book review: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, ISBN: 9780241248775, Publication Date: February 4th 2016


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The premise is simply; Lucy Barton is in hospital recovering from an operation and her mother comes to visit her, keeping her company for a few days of her recuperation. The problem is that the relationship between this mother and daughter is complicated and the sometimes strained bond surrounding these two women is anything but simple. As Lucy finds herself with time on her hands she begins to recall the impoverished childhood she was once subject to, memories she’d rather forget, and aided by the presence of her mother at her bedside we soon realise that it was because of the nature of her almost devastating childhood that has shaped Lucy into the woman she is today, ‘no-one in this world comes from nothing.’

I fell in love and resonated with Lucy’s character from the very first page, having had a turbulent childhood myself some of Lucy’s memories felt very real to me on a personal level and this is all helped by Strout’s poignant narrative which is very strong, as is her perception and ability to climb inside of her character’s inner most feelings and their complex relationships. This is the first book of Strout’s that I have read but after reading My Name is Lucy Barton, I am definitely going to try some of her other books because her writing style is wonderfully unique. I would thoroughly recommend this book because it will give you such an insight into the psychological aspect of Strout’s writing and can’t fail to convince you of her gift of capturing human nature at its most vulnerable.

I reviewed this book for the wonderful people at NetGalley.

(It’s only from reading this book that I realised Barton is the author of Olive Kitteridge which I managed to watch a few months ago, as it was developed for Sky Atlantic, and starred the wonderful Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins. It was so refreshing to watch a program that didn’t strive for any over-dramatic action but instead concentrated on Olive herself and the inner turmoil over her long and often complicated life. It moved me to tears because it was just so raw. If you get a chance to watch it then by all means do so, you won’t regret it)





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