My Name Is Lucy Barton

My Name Is Lucy Barton

A Novel

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER *  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 My Name Is Lucy Barton

"There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to--'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy'--simple joy." --Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review

"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
 
"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." --Marion Winik, Newsday
 
"Potent with distilled emotion. Without a hint of self-pity, Strout captures the ache of loneliness we all feel sometimes." -- Time

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

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

"Sensitive, deceptively simple . . . 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. . . . [It's] more complex than it first appears, and all the more emotionally persuasive for it." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Strout maps the complex terrain of human relationships by focusing on that which is often unspoken and only implied. . . . A powerful addition to Strout's body of work." -- The Seattle Times

"Impressionistic and haunting . . . [Strout] reminds us of the power of our stories--and our ability to transcend our troubled narratives." -- Miami Herald

"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." --Hilary Mantel

"Magnificent." --Ann Patchett
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781400067695
1400067693
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 193 pages ; 22 cm

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s
SR806
Apr 19, 2020

This book was boring. It was constantly jumping from one topic to another.

d
diannehildebrand
Feb 01, 2020

A beautiful, powerful book. So real that you think it has to be autobiography, or almost a biography of yourself. I couldn't quite figure out her relationship to her mother, but that was part of the intrigue. Note to self: read anything else by Elizabeth Strout that you can get.

b
betsymarzoni
Jan 29, 2020

During a very long hospital stay, Lucy's mother arrives and sits at her daughter's bedside for five nights. Through their conversations we learn of the extreme poverty and abuse in which Lucy and her two siblings were raised and that the relationship between all members of the family has been severely torn for decades. Her mother never quite opens up about herself, but talks about all the failed marriages of people from their community. The mother-daughter relationship is an intriguing study.

j
jsjs
Oct 22, 2019

Lucy's voice is sad and full of wonder at the same time. There are some tidbits of deep wisdom that I wish I had written down as I went along; I will go back and find them.

j
Jane_Sm
Oct 20, 2018

Sweet, ingenuous memoire-type novel. Like the character, Lucy Barton, much lies beneath a deceptively simple surface. Evocative and memorable.

m
mztory
Sep 06, 2018

It was a very short book and I found it to be rather sad. I didn't see any joy in the story even the talks with her mother whom she hasn't seem for years. I found it to be a rather dark tale and in a way I enjoyed it but I was glad it was short.

s
Sam_Stewart
Apr 04, 2018

The chapter are extremely short and go between Lucy's time in the hospital looking at the Empire State building and the rest of her life. I couldn't put it down.

e
EmilyEm
Oct 22, 2017

Now New Yorker Lucy Barton is in the hospital for weeks with a hard-to-diagnose issue following surgery. She wakes one day to find her estranged mother sitting at the foot of her bed. The book is their conversations. Heartfelt and funny.

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.

s
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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Sam_Stewart
Apr 05, 2018

"But really, the ruthlessness, I think, comes in grabbing onto myself, in saying: This is me, and I will not go where I can't bear to go - to Amgash, Illinois - and I will not stay in a marriage when I don't want to, and I will grab myself and hurl onward through like, blind as a bat, but on I go! This is the ruthlessness, I think."

j
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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j
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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