HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Lucy by the Sea (2022)

by Elizabeth Strout

Series: Lucy Barton (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9726621,168 (4)59
From Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout comes a poignant, pitch-perfect novel about a divorced couple stuck together during lockdown--and the love, loss, despair, and hope that animate us even as the world seems to be falling apart. "No novelist working today has Strout's extraordinary capacity for radical empathy. . . . May droves of readers come to feel enlarged, comforted, and genuinely uplifted by Lucy's story."--The Boston Globe With her trademark spare, crystalline prose--a voice infused with "intimate, fragile, desperate humanness" (The Washington Post)--Elizabeth Strout turns her exquisitely tuned eye to the inner workings of the human heart, following the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton through the early days of the pandemic. As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it's just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea. Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we're apart--the pain of a beloved daughter's suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love.… (more)
  1. 00
    Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout (aprille)
    aprille: Should have been one book instead of two.
  2. 00
    Companion Piece by Ali Smith (aprille)
    aprille: Also about living through COVID
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 59 mentions

English (64)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
No real plot here – just a couple of years in the life of an older writer/mom (Lucy) who relocates from New York City to the coast of Maine during the pandemic and, while there, works through the process of grieving for her recently deceased husband, reconciling with an ex-husband, redefining herself as a mother, refocusing her priorities, and reflecting on the extent to which our lives are controlled by free will vs. predetermination. The tale spans the scary first days of the pandemic through the George Floyd riots and the Capital insurrection, wrapping up just as vaccines are becoming widely available.

The various subplots are united by one common theme: Everyone needs to feel like they matter. Wives need to feel heard by their husbands, lovers need to feel valued by their inamoratas, parents need to feel needed by their children, scholars need to feel appreciated for their expertise, writers need to feel worthy by their readers, all the disenfranchised folks of the world - blacks, MAGAs, poor people, etc. - need to feel heard by … someone. Otherwise, the world fills with angry, lonely, betrayed people. Just so you don’t miss the point Strout’s trying to make, almost every episode concludes with someone uttering some version of “I understand.”

This was my first book by Strout, so it’s hard for me to say how much context I missed out on because I hadn’t read the author’s My Name is Lucy Barton or Olive Kitteridge, both of which are extensively referenced here. Also impossible for me to know whether the narrative voice she adopts here – childlike, and naïve – is specific to Lucy or a Strout signature. Admit that it was hard to regard protagonist Barton as a prestigious novelist given her unsophisticated language (for example, referring to a speaker a “the lecturing man”), grammar, and prose. Am guessing Stroud’s intent is to invite us into the tale by lowering any bars that more sophisticated prose might erect – everyday language for an everyday tale about everyday themes, like loneliness, regret, grief, and love. Mostly worked for me: I found this to be graceful and unconventional, though perhaps not something I’ll remember a year from now. ( )
  Dorritt | Feb 28, 2024 |
All about Lucy and her feelings and discoveries about herself and those close to her during the beginning of COVID. Her thoughts appear disjointed and just seem to occur to her. A melancholy book that also exudes hope. Kirkus: Lucy Barton flees pandemic-stricken New York City for Maine with ex-husband William.This is the third time Lucy has chronicled the events and emotions that shape her life, and the voice that was so fresh and specific in My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016), already sounding rather tired in Oh, William! (2021), is positively worn out here. Fatigue and disorientation are natural responses to a cataclysmic upheaval like the coronavirus, but unfortunately, it?s Strout?s imagination that seems exhausted in this meandering tale, which follows Lucy and William to Maine, relates their experiences there in haphazard fashion, and closes with their return to New York. Within this broad story arc, Lucy?s narration rambles from topic to topic: her newfound closeness with William; his unfaithfulness when they were married; their two daughters? marital and health issues; her growing friendship with Bob Burgess; the surprise reappearance of William?s half sister, Lois; and memories of Lucy?s impoverished childhood, troubled relations with her parents, and ongoing difficulties with her sister, Vicky. To readers of Strout?s previous books, it?s all unduly familiar, indeed stale, an impression reinforced when the author takes a searing emotional turning point from The Burgess Boys (2013) and a painful refusal of connection in Oh William! and recycles them as peripheral plot points. The novel?s early pages do nicely capture the sense of disbelief so many felt in the pandemic?s early days, but Lucy?s view from rural safety of the havoc wrought in New York feels superficial and possibly offensive. Strout?s characteristic acuity about complex human relationships returns in a final scene between Lucy and her daughters, but from a writer of such abundant gifts and past accomplishments, this has to be rated a disappointment.Not the kind of deep, resonant fiction we expect from the Pulitzer Prize?winning author of Olive Kitteridge.
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars. I really like Elizabeth Stout's writing and this book was no exception. It is just hard to read about the pandemic ... too soon for me ... so I didn't find the story as easy to escape into. ( )
  ellink | Jan 22, 2024 |
As the pandemic begins, William calls Lucy, tells her to pack a suitcase, and the two head out of New York City to Maine to be safer during the pandemic. They rent a home on the coast. Readers who went through the pandemic will relate to many of their experiences in the early days of the pandemic. It goes on to explore the lives of their daughters and more. While Lucy sees many of the same flaws in William he had during their marriage, as a maturer person, she sees another side to him as well. The book shows the importance of family and friendship even in a time of social isolation. I believe Strout could have included the plot elements in the story of Lucy's sister and Charlene without the commentary on Evangelicalism insinuated by her wording. At least she was less overt than many authors in their prejudice against conservatives. Strout's writing excellence shines in this novel. Olive Kitteridge is known and discussed by one character. While many people do not want to read about the pandemic, I am glad I read this one. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jan 17, 2024 |
Kind of predictable, but very poignant nonetheless. A fitting end (if this is the end) to the Lucy books. ( )
  Octavia78 | Jan 4, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
The disarming situation described at the opening of Elizabeth Strout’s new novel might seem fantastical, the stuff of a million post-apocalyptic movies, were it not for the fact that every single one of us has recently lived through it. And lockdown especially. Strout isn’t the first writer to go there, but she certainly makes magnificent and thrilling use of it in this, her most nuanced – and intensely moving – Lucy Barton novel yet
added by bergs47 | editThe Guardian, Julie Myerson (Oct 2, 2022)
 

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
For my husband, Jim Tierney

And for my son-in-law, Will Flynt

With love and admiration for them both—-
First words
Like many others, I did not see it coming.
Quotations
It's interesting how people endure things (15%)
Who knows why people are different? We are born with a certain nature, I think. And then the world takes its swings at us. (19%)
Grief is a private thing. God, is it a private thing. (21%)
But Becka seemed to disappear from me. I even felt she was avoiding me; I would call her and she would not call me back for a day or two. When she did speak to me her voice was rather flat. "Mom, I'm really okay, please don't worry so much about me," she said. It hurt my heart with heaviness as though a damp and dirty dishcloth lay across it.
But of course she was grieving her marriage, no matter how unhappy she may have been in it—this thought finally arrived to me. And I thought, Lucy, you are so stupid not to have realized that. (32%)
I understood... that the childhood isolation of fear and lonliness would never leave one. (62%)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

From Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout comes a poignant, pitch-perfect novel about a divorced couple stuck together during lockdown--and the love, loss, despair, and hope that animate us even as the world seems to be falling apart. "No novelist working today has Strout's extraordinary capacity for radical empathy. . . . May droves of readers come to feel enlarged, comforted, and genuinely uplifted by Lucy's story."--The Boston Globe With her trademark spare, crystalline prose--a voice infused with "intimate, fragile, desperate humanness" (The Washington Post)--Elizabeth Strout turns her exquisitely tuned eye to the inner workings of the human heart, following the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton through the early days of the pandemic. As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it's just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea. Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we're apart--the pain of a beloved daughter's suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5 1
1 1
1.5 1
2 12
2.5 9
3 45
3.5 29
4 113
4.5 29
5 91

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 201,964,373 books! | Top bar: Always visible