My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
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.
My Name is Lucy Barton is largely set in New York in the 1980s. Lucy tells us her story in an unflinchingly honest way. Lucy's born in a family that stands out--not in a good way--in their small rural town. Lucy is different from her siblings and parents, and she makes her way to college and eventually to NYC. Her family sees her escape as a declaration of her repudiation of them and they hold it against her.
But the transition to her new life isn't easy for Lucy. She finds that her old life clings to her in ways that she hadn't expected and the difference rears its head unexpectedly, even years after she's made a life for herself. But Lucy has decided to become a writer and she works at it. She tells the story of her journey as a writer and of her life in those years when her children were young. As we learn the story of her family, of her marriage and of her life as a writer, she comes very much alive.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller; Abide with Me, a national bestseller and Book Sense pick; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth Strout lives in New York City.