My Name Is Lucy Barton
It's painfully sad at times in her reminiscences of her life growing up in Amgash ...more
First, here’s the plot, the whole plot, and nothing but the plot: Lucy (the storyteller) is lying in the hospital and her estranged mother comes from afar and sits there for five days. And I really mean she just sits there, except for sharing a few laughs—like giving ...more
This book had the same effect on me as Olive Kitteridge. I'm reading through this beautifully written, way too short novel, and the whole time I'm thinking about my own life and my past and my family and my relationships with others. She takes this simple story, written like a memoir or something, I guess... kind of quick flashes of stories from the past and present, and it's just wonderful. It's so good.
But the whole time as I'm learning more about Lucy, it's like ...more
This is a story about a woman who loves her daughter. Imperfectly. Because we all love imperfectly.
Depressing as hell. But I enjoyed wallowing in it for a while.
My Name Is Lucy Barton covers a life story, poverty, abuse, art, marriage, the AIDs epidemic and subsequent fear, and a difficult relationship between a mother and daughter, all in less than two hundred pages. It's quite emotionally exhausting for such a short book but - perhaps because I had so few prior expectations - I found myse ...more
"Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, remind ...more
Lucy and her family grew up in a tiny rural town of Amgash, Illinois. "We were oddities, our family".
Lucy had a brother and a sister. They all understood that they were different than other
children. "Your family stinks"....(children would tease). The Barton family was poor, often in need of a bar of soap.
The father worked on farm machinery ( fired & rehired often ...more
I had some expectations about My Name Is Lucy Barton and truly wanted to like it more. I liked the premise – difficult relationship between daughter and mother and chance to make amends. I didn’t expect sudden reconciliation or instant falling into arms. I know sometimes people just can’t talk about love, can’t show what they feel. They live quietly, have children. Sometimes these kids understand and can get over it and make own life happy.
I hoped for multilayered portrait of family but it wa ...more
Lucy's Manhattan hosp. room had breathtaking view of Chrysler Building, and the skyscraper's light at night “shone like the beacon it was of the largest and best hopes for mankind and its aspirations and desire for beauty”
This is the story of Lucy Barton, who grew up in great poverty and suffered her parents’ neglect and abuse in the farmlands of Illinois and went on to became a successful fiction writer in New York City. Poignant and profound on so ma ...more
Second 2017 Update
Upgrading my rating from 4 to 5 stars, no idea why I didn't before. Oh, I know, maybe because sometimes I am a dork!
So a funny thing happened to me this weekend. Have you ever had a book "triggered" you to read another book, even if they are not exactly related?
After I finished reading the wonderful Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, I was compelled to re-read My Name Is Lucy Barton, which I originally read almost exactly a year ago.
There are some small similarit ...more
I loved Lucy and her ability to find kindness, her understanding of people, her compassion and how she can see light through all the hurt and darkness of her childhood. I liked how the relationship with her Mother and some th ...more
Lucy Barton is hospitalized with a prolonged illness. Her mother turns up at the foot of her bed quite unexpectantly one evening. Lucy ...more
The story of Lucy Barton is not much different from the fragmented but carefully delineated sketches of the townspeople in Crosby, but for the main focus of the story, which in this case centers around Lucy and her strained relationship with her family, particularly with her mother.
A woman with humble origins, whose childhood was marked by poverty, loneliness and possibly abuse, manages to escape from ...more
As she recovers from surgery complications, a shocked Lucy receives a five day visit from her estranged mother who can only express her feelings by telling stories of old acquaintances and their imperfect lives; and while listening, Lucy Barton revisits her...more
My Name is Lucy Barton is a 2016 novel by the American writer Elizabeth Strout.
Lucy Barton had a difficult childhood. Her father was abusive and while her mother loved Lucy, she was unable to protect her or her siblings from their father's mercurial mood swings.
As a result Lucy would frequently take solace in reading, which led her to realize that she wanted to become a writer.
When she came of age, Lucy quickly fled the family home. Years la ...more
As Lucy looks back at her life she focuses on a time when she spent five weeks in hospital after a routine operation hit problems. A time in which she lay in bed and did a lot of thinking about her childhood, her family and her marriage.
Whilst in hospital she was visited by her long estranged mother, who stayed with her for several days. This made her happy ........ as it gave her a glimpse of how their relationship could have been.
Lucy’s internal monologue ...more
I had read All Things Are Possible before this book, so a lot of the names felt like familiar old friends whose history I already knew.
Despite her strang ...more
I picked My Name Is Lucy Barton up one day randomly and ended up finishing it quite quickly, especially towards those last 100 pages. I was captivated by its strange but compelling storyline. Plus, I was really loving the vibe this book gave off. My Name Is Lucy Barton was exactly what I was in the mood for: an epic but, at the same time, quiet family saga. Oh, and there’s gossip (!!!) about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois.
Our story begins to ...more
Disclaimer: This book isn't going to satisfy you if you need a conventional plot, with a "story" and a "lesson" and clear explanations.
What it does have, through a dreamy vagueness found in certain types of poetry, is the hard nut of truth about people, poverty, prejudice, kindness, love, and scars of childhood.
Lucy Barton lived in terrible poverty, lived through unuttered abuse as a child. She has never heard her mother s ...more
By th ...more
I find it difficult book to express my thoughts on this story. While I really liked it (more than 'The Burgess Boys') I didn’t love it as much as I wanted. I felt there was just something missing although I hugely appreciate the sentiment withi ...more
I feel she managed very well to turn things around with her own children.
The main part of the book, the visit from her estranged mother during Lucy's nine week hospital stay was touching, but sad because I felt the mother held back much of her emotions.
The rest of this book was Lucy's insights on people and living. This author really made you feel Lucy's pain.