My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Written by: Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
Publisher: Random House Audio
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. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
What I Thought:
Lucy hasn’t had the best life. Her childhood was spent being so poor that they barely had enough food, didn’t have indoor plumbing for a long while, and she was picked on at school, mostly because of the clothes she wore.
What she did have was gentle heart and a lot of love for her family, her two daughters, and for writing. She also said many times throughout the book about the people she had met, that she loved “her” “him”, “them”. She was very grateful for the people who showed her any kindness.
The book is about Lucy’s life, told in a random order, whatever she thinks of at the time. Still, there’s an even flow to the story.
I thought the conversations between Lucy and her mom were a bit strange at times. I can’t imagine having a relationship like that with my mom.
The narrator did a great job with each characters. I thought it was interesting that there were characters with the last name Nicely. It’s a very unusual name, and is my mother’s maiden name.
This is the first time I’ve tried a Strout book, but I plan on reading/listening to more from her. I enjoyed learning about Lucy, she felt like a friend telling me her life’s story.
The ending came quite abruptly though, I would have liked more.