A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE & THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
An exquisite story of mothers and daughters from the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge
Lucy is recovering from an operation in a New York hospital when she wakes to find her estranged mother sitting by her bed. They have not seen one another in years. As they talk Lucy finds herself recalling her troubled rural childhood and how it was she eventually arrived in the big city, got married and had children. But this unexpected visit leaves her doubting the life she's made: wondering what is lost and what has yet to be found.
The story continues in Oh William!, available to read now!
'A terrific writer' Zadie Smith
'A superbly gifted storyteller and a craftswoman in a league of her own' Hilary Mantel
'So good it gave me goosebumps. One of the best writers in America' Sunday Times
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s rare that a book hits the heart’s bullseye like this. Elizabeth Strout, the author of Olive Kitteridge, has written a short and brilliant novel that explores an idea central to much great art: “we never knew, and never would know, what it would be like to understand another person fully”. And yet by the time you finish reading My Name is Lucy Barton, you feel like you’ve made a precious new friend. In a warm, confessional tone, Strout’s protagonist shares snapshots of her harrowing rural childhood and her nine-week stay in a Manhattan hospital during the height of the AIDS epidemic. We have tears in our eyes thinking about Lucy’s journey to learn how to love herself and those around her.
Author Strout and reader Farr have produced a masterly fusion of material that could easily have become maudlin but never does. It is a simple, yet deep depiction of the fierce love and intense pain of a mother-daughter relationship. At the request of her unavailable husband, Lucy's mother, whom she has not seen for many years, comes to sit beside the bed of her hospitalized daughter. Lucy speaks openly of the poverty and shame of her childhood, and the family dynamics emerge beneath the dialogue and in the silences between the lines. Listeners reel with Lucy's shifting moods, her intense love for her own two daughters, her loneliness, and her growing insight into her family dynamics. Strout has written so beautifully of the inseparable bond between mother and daughter that listeners will be compelled to contemplate their own childhood in a new light. A Random House hardcover.