My Name Is Lucy Barton (Hardcover)

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Bookseller: Catherine
Title: My Name is Lucy Barton

As a big fan of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge I had high hopes for her new novel. I am happy to report that  My Name is Lucy Barton, did not disappoint!  The novel is a love story between a mother who is visiting her daughter in the hospital, a daughter from whom she has been estranged for years. The love between them is fierce, animalistic and not always pretty.  We learn that as a child Lucy was struck by both her parents, and had been locked up in a truck for hours when her parents left the house. When Lucy recalls the bitter cold which numbed her bones as a child during the winter months I felt chilled myself. 

We meet Lucy when she is grown up, lives in New York City and many years have passed since her childhood in Amgash, Illinois, where she grew up in abject poverty. Social status is not a topic that Americans are comfortable discussing openly and this fact helps the reader feel the discomfort that haunts Lucy in the new life she has created in the big city.  

Lucy’s incommunicable isolation makes sense to us, the readers, and we have compassion for Lucy who, although she looks the part of a big city wife, mother and author, feels she does not belong. 

When her mother appears at her hospital bedside,  Lucy’s relief and love are tangible. The topics of their conversations are surface level but the bond between them, which neither woman is able to articulate, is deep.  

There is a rare wealth of emotion in this book, from darkest suffering to pure and simple joy. 

— From Catherine's Past Picks 1


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - 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.

The Washington Post - The New York Times Book Review - NPR - BookPage - LibraryReads - Minneapolis Star Tribune - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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.


Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton

"A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words."--The Boston Globe

"It is Lucy's gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother's shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful."--San Francisco Chronicle

"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."--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

"An aching, illuminating look at mother-daughter devotion."--People

"This slim, perceptive novel packs more sentiment and pain into its unsparingly honest and forthright prose than novels two and three times as long. Strout . . . has always awed us with her ability to put into words the mysterious and unfathomable ways in which people cherish each other."--Chicago Tribune

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 Book Sense pick; 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.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781400067695
ISBN-10: 1400067693
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 12th, 2016
Pages: 208
Language: English