MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, is a small treasure of a novel. Mothers/Daughters. It’s not always pretty.
Lucy wakes up in her hospital room in New York City to discover her mother who she has not seen in many years sitting vigil at her bedside. Estranged is not too harsh a word to describe their relationship.
Lucy Barton went to hospital for a simple operation and ended up with a mysterious infection that keeps her there for nine long weeks. Meanwhile, her husband is home caring for their two young daughters and his job. After feeling stretched to the max he broke down and asked Lucy’s mother to come; not an easy plea.
MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, came along less than a year since I lost my own mother to a strange illness. I definitely relate to the angst of mother/daughter relationships. Over the years I was close and then not so close to mom. Lucy and her mother have experienced the ultimate distancing and Lucy’s mom has not even met her grandchildren. This, I do NOT understand, but know it happens way too often.
Written in sparse and precise prose that you will recognize from OLIVE KITTERIDGE, once again Strout wows with her ability to show the depth of a strained relationship while imagining the hidden love therein.
We only know our own past. We don’t always know what a loved one has experienced, or why they succumb to highs and lows throughout their lives. Think of things in your past that no one but you know. Everyone deals with this. Strout brings up topics we would rather not raise. And she does it with tenderness and love.
I think bookclubs will embrace MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON. As well they should. There is a lot here to think and talk about. Even though some of it might be a tad difficult.
It’s a quick read. Will give you much to think about. My review copy came from Random House in exchange for an honest review.