My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My Name Is Lucy BartonMy Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I needed a book like this. An uncomplicated book that in spite of how busy and complicated other aspects of my life are leaning just now, I could drop in easily and stay. When I say it’s uncomplicated, I’m talking about style. My Name Is Lucy Barton is a book that leaves a lot uncovered, and that’s part of its greatness, because the book is in part about the things we keep to ourselves because they are ours and ours alone. There are some moments of metafiction, set up by the fact that this is a story of a writer who comes to write and finds a mentor writer, who finds success in writing. Those moments are spare, but connective. In a sense, this was a story about stories, how we construct them imperfectly as we are imperfect and memory is imperfect. Hopefully though our stories “report on the human condition…tell us who we are and what we think and what we do.” The power of this story lies as much in what is not written as what is on the page, the places where Lucy can’t or won’t be specific or explain, where the reader is the one who fills in the gap with his/her imagination.

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