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July 22, 2017

My Name Is Lucy Barton



My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Fiction
2016 Random House Audio
Read by Kimberly Farr
Finished on October 21, 2016
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

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 lies 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.

After reading Bellezza's glowing review for My Name Is Lucy Barton, I knew I had to give it a chance, in spite of my disappointment in The Burgess Boys (which I did not finish). I read Amy and Isabelle many years ago, and more recently Olive Kitteridge, both of which I enjoyed quite a bit. I wish I could echo Meredith's praise for this particular book, but it failed to move me, even after listening to the audio, which I started as soon as I finished the print edition. I can't remember the last time I did that, but I really wanted to give it another chance since Meredith loved it so much. My Name Is Lucy Barton was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, BookPage, and LibraryReads. I am obviously in the minority, as I barely gave it an average rating. 

12 comments:

  1. I have a feeling I'd be with you on this one so I haven't picked it up.

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    1. Kathy, have you read her others? I did enjoy Olive Kitteridge, although it took me a while to get interested.

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  2. I loved Olive Kitteridge, and I did finish Burgess Boys (but I think I listened to it, which is a different experience) but I was so bored with Lucy Barton. I think I get why people liked it, and another time I might have, but I was overall very neutral about it.
    So, I'm with you!

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    1. Raidergirl3, I'm so glad to read your comment and know that I am not alone in my assessment of this novel! I certainly gave it my best effort!

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  3. I'm looking forward to this one although I think it will be hard act to follow. I'm currently reading Olive Kitteridge and wow, that book is wonderful so far.

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    1. Iliana, I'll be interested to know if you like this new one.

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  4. You are not alone! That's the exact rating I gave it. I thought it was "incredibly bland and disjointed". However, OK was a DNF for me. : /

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    1. Joy, bland & disjointed is a perfection description. I may not read anymore of her books.

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  5. I really liked this one a lot, but I can see how it wouldn't work for everyone. The Burgess Boys had a lot going on and I appreciated that about it but it was definitely my least favorite of Strout's books.

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    1. Lisa, I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Wish I could say the same, but that's life. They can't all be winners and if they were, I'd need a bigger house since I save all my favorites. :)

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  6. I feel sad when we disagree, but somehow the writing in this just moved me so much. Perhaps it stood out stood highly in my mind because the others on the long list pales (greatly!) in comparison, and I was refreshed by Strout's simplicity. Well, I guess I felt I could relate to the character, too, expressing her sorrow in ways that were not exactly clear, but seem applicable to all our sadnesses.

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    1. Meredith, I feel the same way. I wish I enjoyed the same books you do and there are some that we both agree on, but not always.

      Hope you have a good last year at school!

      xo

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