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A mother comes to visit her daughter in hospital after having not seen her in many years. Her unexpected visit forces Lucy to confront her past, uncovering long-buried memories of a profoundly impoverished childhood; and her present, as the facade of her new life in New York begins to crumble, awakening her to the reality of her faltering marriage and her unsteady journey towards becoming a writer. From Lucy's hospital bed, we are drawn ever more deeply into the emotional complexity of family life, the inescapable power of the past, and the memories - however painful - that bind a family together
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Strout's best novel yet||I am deeply impressed.Writing of this quality comes from a commitment to listening, from a perfect attunement to the human condition, from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue.I have never read her before and I knew within a few sentences that here was an artist to value and respect||An exquisite novel... in its careful words and vibrating silences,My Name Is Lucy Bartonoffers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to - 'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy' - simple joy||So good I got goosebumps... a masterly novel of family ties by one of America's finest writers
My Name is Lucy Barton
confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships...Deeply affecting novel...visceral and heartbreaking...If she hadn't already won the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge this new novel would surely be a contender
Observer||Hypnotic...yielding a glut of profoundly human truths to do with flight, memory and longing
Mail on Sunday||This is a book you'll want to return to again and again and again
Irish Independent||Slim and spectacular...
My Name Is Lucy Bartonis smart and cagey in every way. Itis both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. It starts with the clean, solid structure and narrative distance of a fairy tale yet becomes more intimate and improvisational, coming close at times to the rawness of autofiction by writers such asKarl Ove KnausgaardandRachel Cusk.Strout is playing with form here, with ways to get at a story, yet nothing is tentative or haphazard.She is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times....[The character, writer] Sarah tells Lucy and her other students to go to the page 'with a heart as open as the heart of God.' And this is precisely what Strout has done
My Name Is Lucy Barton
is a short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters...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||A novel of shining integrity and humour||Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force||As perfect a novel as you could ever read||Elizabeth Strout restores my faith in the word, in the quality of fiction to shine light on even the dark and still make us feel refreshed and cleansed and glad.Strout is one of our true treasures.My God - she is fun to read.||As ambitious as Philip Roth'sAmerican Pastoralbut more intimate in tone.||Strout's prose propels the story forward with moments ofstartlingly poetic clarity.||One of thoserare, invigorating booksthat take an apparently familiar world and peer into it with ruthless intimacy, revealing a strange and startling place.||Strout's greatly anticipated second novel . . . isan answered prayer.||Elizabeth Strout writes beautifully about the compromises and small joys of what we might call mature people.Delicate, nuanced, insightful, and profoundly moving,Olive Kitteridgeprovides exactly the pleasures and the depths of feeling that I crave when I read fiction