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My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016)

by Elizabeth Strout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lucy Barton (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6842313,841 (3.69)315
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 lay 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.… (more)
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» See also 315 mentions

English (216)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Piratical (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
Sorry but I just didn't get it. I enjoyed Ms. Strout's prose and wanted to keep reading but kept waiting for something of substance to happen. At the insertion of the stories relating to Sarah Payne I nearly put the book down - why are we going there. Readable but frustrating, I'm glad it was short. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
After reading some reviews, I apparently missed a key part about her relationship with her father. I just thought he wasn't a great guy. It is a quiet book is the best way I can describe it. The writing style is very unique. ( )
  littlemuls | Dec 29, 2020 |
From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Olive Kitteridge. In this slim volume, a young mother is recovering from a surgery gone bad in a New York hospital sometime in the 1980's in the shadow of the Chrystler Building. She is missing her husband and children, who cannot visit her. One day, her estranged mother shows up and spends five days with her in the hospital, and from there the story begins. The simple, almost child-like narrative is jarring at first, until one realizes that her mother's visit has caused the protagonist, Lucy Barton, to revert to the insecure, abused and abandoned child she once was, still hoping for some show of affection from her mother. The story slips by like snapshots from the past and casts shadows on Lucy's childhood, marriage, writing career and her relationships, including those with her daughters. It is a poignant read of "poverty and abuse," but also of love, which is so fragile, yet resilient as well. ( )
  KellyWellRead | Dec 17, 2020 |
Clear and bright. Such writing just flows and feels so real.
  Angel.Tatum.Craddock | Dec 17, 2020 |
What a strange book. I was into it at the beginning. I wanted to know what happens to her and if she'll make it out of the hospital. Then it became really weird. I feel I'm reading Lucy Barton's diary but she forgot to write the dates. Some how her diary was torn apart and someone put it back together without reading it. Thank goodness towards the end each story became shorter and shorter until it was half a page long. It was pretty depressing. I know she was happy, maybe she was happy. I don't know. ( )
  xKayx | Dec 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
I was in Lucy Barton’s head from the very first page.

It’s rare when this happens – when the words of a book hypnotize you. The experience doesn’t feel like reading at all. It’s like falling into someone else’s consciousness...Strout’s skill in channelling Lucy’s voice is breathtaking, especially considering it’s the first time the bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys has written a novel in the first person....This ability to love life, to notice small kindnesses, to remember the light in the sky and across the fields rather than the horrors of her childhood home, is Lucy’s salvation.

It is what we allow ourselves to see that helps us survive.
 
My Name Is Lucy Barton confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships, weaving family tapestries with compassion, wisdom and insight. If she hadn’t already won the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge, this new novel would surely be a contender.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Strout, Elizabethprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mawson, MattPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mollica, GregCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
For my friend Kathy Chamberlain
First words
There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks.
Quotations
Whatever we call it, I think it's the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.
Sarah Payne, the day she told us to go to the page without judgement, reminded us that we never knew, and never would know, what it would be like to understand another person fully.
"You will have only one story," she had said. "You'll write your story many ways. Don't ever worry about story. You have only one."
I feel that people may not understand that my mother could never say the words I love you.  I feel that people may not understand: It was all right.
Telling a lie and wasting food were always things to be punished for.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 lay 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.

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