Strout wrote the incomparable Olive Kitteridge (Pulitzer Prize) and the very fine My Name Is Lucy Barton. This new novel is set in a small town in Illinois, the actual home of Lucy Barton. A series of inter-connected stories have links to Lucy Barton, and Lucy actually visits her brother and sister in one chapter after years away. The stories centre on a series of confessional conversations and introspective remembrances that are compelling and captivating. There is an artful simplicity in Strout’s writing; a story about a B&B encounter is exquisite. Overall, this is a great read.
This is a beautiful book. Elizabeth Strout writes like Elizabeth Hay, with great economy so there are no superfluous words. Part of Lucy Barton is about the relationship between a daughter and her mother; they reminisce during a 5-day hospital visit during an extended hospital stay for Lucy. But it is much more than that – about life under difficult circumstances and how that changes the meaning of love. This is a book that EVERYONE should read. Strout previously wrote the magnificent Olive Kitteridge.