Thursday 18 May 2017

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton, mother of two young girls, is confined to hospital following surgery that results in complications. Her mother, who hasn't seen her for years, comes to sit beside her bed. For five nights. They reminisce.

It is difficult to describe the emotions that this little, yet powerful book evoked. I connected deeply with Lucy. The relationship between mother and daughter is gently examined, like layers of tissue paper being lifted carefully off a delicate crystal chandelier. Love, and life, are not perfect. Yet there was a degree of restoration, balming healing that floated up through the beautiful words off every page. They talk about old times, old friends, family and home, and I was hooked.

Lucy's story is not the happiest. Looking back at it through her mother's eyes shows it up from her adult perspective in an even worse light. Yet she has survived, taking the hand life has dealt her and playing it well.

An evocative read - don't attempt it if you're having a bad day.

4 stars

ISBN: 9781400067695

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