My Name Is Lucy Barton

My Name Is Lucy Barton

eBook - 2016
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A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all--the one between mother and daughter. 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 Elizabeth Strout "Strout has a magnificent gift for humanizing characters." --San Francisco Chronicle "What truly makes Strout exceptional . . . is the perfect balance she achieves between the tides of story and depths of feeling." --Chicago Tribune "[Strout] constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion." --USA Today "Strout animates the ordinary with an astonishing force." --The New Yorker "[Strout's] themes are how incompletely we know one another, how 'desperately hard every person in the world [is] working to get what they need,' and the redemptive power in little things--a shared memory, a shock of tulips." -- People
Publisher: New York : Random House Publishing Group, 2016
ISBN: 9780812989076
0812989074
1628998490
1400067693
Branch Call Number: eBook--Adult
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource

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If you enjoyed this book, you may like: Maine by Courtney Sullivan, Sights Unseen by Kaye Gibbons, and I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass.


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kmscows Jul 27, 2017

I read "My Name Is Lucy Barton" by Elizabeth Strout in 2016 when it first came out. I sped right through it, as it is a short book that draws you into the story of Lucy, her childhood and adult life. I recently reread it because I read Strout's new book, "Anything Is Possible" and Lucy Barton reappears in this book. Reading it a second time did not disappoint me. Strout does an amazing job developing Lucy's character. Her description of Lucy's childhood home and of he stay at the hospital paint a very vivid picture for the reader; it is as if you are sitting in the room as Lucy and her mother share memories and stories with each other. These conversations show us the complexity of relationships, especially the one between mothers and daughters. A thoughtful, compelling read.

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shareads
Jul 17, 2017

This book is easy to relate to and the interest factor sky rockets. I just don't like the tone of the book. It comes off as sorrowful and melancholy although I liked the book very much.

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maggiepcurtis
Jun 14, 2017

Didn't know where this book was going while I was reading. Plus, it never really gave us any type of closure on things. It was very blah. But it was a quick read.

j
jeanie123
Apr 12, 2017

A very enjoyable book and very well written. It's like sitting down to have a long conversation with a friend you've just met. The imperfectness of people and experiences makes us who we are and in the end it's up to us to fulfill our own needs.

robertafsmith Mar 21, 2017

One of those "small but almost perfect" books. It reminded me of Vivien Gornick in it's love of Manhattan. Lucy can see part of the city from her hospital bed, where she is having a disjointed, but revealing conversation with her dysfunctional mother. I read it when I was on Sick Leave. It is not a Sick Leave book in my opinion. Staff Pickles.

h
heidijoemonty
Mar 16, 2017

I think the meaning of this book was lost on me, perhaps I missed the point. I don't feel like she got the closure on her childhood that she so seemingly wanted. I give it a solid "meh."

j
jr3083
Jan 31, 2017

Lucy Barton lies in a New York hospital bed, seriously ill, watching the lights in the Chrysler Building. Complications have set in after an appendectomy and she is frightened and desperately missing her two young daughters. Her husband has called her mother to come, and she has. She is sitting beside the bed, not sleeping.

The two women have been estranged for years and the mother keeps the conversation light, circling between anecdotes about shared acquaintances from the past. This is a conversation where the important things are left unsaid, as they always have been....

The narrative is simply told in retrospect, after Lucy – a published and accomplished writer- has recovered from her illness and moved on to another phase of her life. Despite its 200 plus pages, the layout of the text provides a much shorter text, in brief chapters and surrounded by much blank paper. It is more novella than novel and it evokes the author’s earlier Olive Kitteridge in its knife-sharp approach to relationships. I’m bemused by reviews that focus on the love between mother and daughter. I find it far more unsettling and much darker than that.

For my full review see: https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/my-name-is-lucy-barton-by-elizabeth-strout/

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finn75
Jan 15, 2017

Wonderful yet bleak stories from a childhood revisited. How do we become who we are?

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njon38
Dec 30, 2016

At 191 pages it is perfect for a book group. Lucy Barton's estranged mother comes to keep her company while she is in hospital with strange illness. It reminded me of a fictional "Glass Castle". Without a scintilla of sentimentality she lets us see a hard scrabble childhood and family ties that create both misery and solace.

a
AL_ELENARI
Dec 15, 2016

Lucy wakes up in a hospital room to discover that she is with her mother whom she has not seen for many years. Lucy wants to start with a clean slate and forget her tortured childhood but her relationship with her mother is tense at best. They try to find some middle ground by reminiscing about old times, friends, and family. This is a touching story about the love, understanding and relationship between a mother and daughter.

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JanPruatt
Jul 27, 2016

There was a time and it was many years ago now when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks.

Sonjahv May 20, 2016

"I felt the cold-hot shock that comes from being struck without warning; my husband was an only child, and my mother had told me long before that such a "condition" as she put it, could only lead to selfishness in the end."

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JanPruatt
Jul 27, 2016

From a simple hospital visit comes a tender story about a relationship between one daughter and her mother.

Lucy is slowly recovering from surgery. Her mother, with whom she hasn’t spoken in many years, appears at her bedside. Over the course of five days, the two exchange gossip from the past. These stories seem to reconnect them. Below the surface though lies tension that governed Lucy’s life and caused her to escape her troubled family, helped her become a writer, divorce her husband and define her love of two daughters. Strout tugs at our heartstrings as Lucy’s life unfolds because we, too, can identify with incidents similar to our lives. Short and bitter-sweet.

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