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“Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.”

My Name is Lucy Barton ~ Elizabeth Strout

I will struggle to tell you exactly what this book is about. Relationships, perhaps. Or rather it is like several diary entries of a hugely contemplative person, pieced together. Someone who has yet to make sense of their own life. As I had expected from a novel by Elizabeth Strout, the prose is in elegant style. No frills, no fluff, Strout isn’t trying to make a big show of anything.

Lucy Barton is a mother of two young girls, a budding writer in New York, who comes from hard beginnings. She grew up on a farm, initially living with her family in a garage till they could finally move into a relative’s house. Lucy’s childhood is filled with dread, fear, hunger and loneliness. From those beginnings, she managed to escape. She married a good man, had two girls and for all intents and purposes she is leading an ordinary life. And most of all, she loves her mother.

I should warn you that there isn’t much to the story like I said before, the Chapters are more musings and contemplation than a narrative of plot. It is a gentle book, and has its audience, although I failed to treasure it as much as I would have liked to.

Why you should read it:

  • For its thoughtful message on human character and relationships, on every page
  • For the delicate writing
  • If you like reading introspective books

Why you shouldn’t read it:

  • If you want to read a thrilling story
  • If you like a story with an ending
  • If you don’t want to feel melancholic