Exuberant and affirming, it's funny and immensely clever, emotionally rare and strong. I feel bereft now I've finished' Tessa Hadley
Casey has ended up back in Massachusetts after a devastating love affair. Her mother has just died and she is knocked sideways by grief and loneliness, moving between the restaurant where she waitresses for the Harvard elite and the rented shed she calls home. Her one constant is the novel she has been writing for six years, but at thirty-one she is in debt and directionless, and feels too old to be that way - it’s strange, not be the youngest kind of adult anymore.
And then, one evening, she meets Silas. He is kind, handsome, interested. But only a few weeks later, Oscar walks into her restaurant, his two boys in tow. He is older, grieving the loss of his wife, and wrapped up in his own creativity. Suddenly Casey finds herself at the point of a love triangle, stuck between two very different relationships that promise two very different futures.
Lily King's Writers & Lovers follows Casey in the last days of a long youth, a time when everything - her family, her work, her relationships - comes to a crisis. Hugely moving and impossibly funny, it is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. It is a novel about love and creativity, and ultimately it captures the moment when a woman becomes an artist.
King's, elegant, droll follow-up to Euphoria traces an aspiring novelist's effort to find herself after turning 30 and losing her mother. After a series of lovers and moves, Casey Peabody ends up alone in Boston, Mass., with nothing to hold onto. Her commitment to writing each morning keeps her at a dead-end waitressing job that barely covers her grungy rented room and the minimum payments for the massive debt she incurred for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her devastating grief for her mother, whose unexplained death occurred while vacationing abroad, can only be assuaged, she feels, by finishing the novel she's been working on for six years ("I don't write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don't, everything feels even worse"). She begins dating the successful writer Oscar Kolton, as well as one of his students, and finds new inspiration in the romances ("Usually a man in my life slows my work down, but it turns out two men give me fresh energy"). Facing the impending loss of her apartment, she fears that living with one of her lovers would expose her "blighted" dysfunction. While King's resolutions of Casey's financial, emotional, and creative challenges don't feel uniformly convincing, the nimble, astute narration appeals. This meditation on the passing of youth is touching and ruefully funny.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This improved as it went along. Started to care about what happened but not for some way in to the narrative