You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Buddy Reads > My Name is Lucy Barton

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message 1: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13261 comments Caecilia and I are planning to read My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout for the monthly themed read in March. If anyone would like to join us, please feel free to do so.

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.

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.


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (ylisa7) | 208 comments I have this book on a very short loan from my library. I have to get it and A Little Life back to the library by the end of the week.

I will start this one later today.


message 3: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori Kristie and Lisa ...

:-) I have the book at home and will start reading it today evening, after work.


message 4: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13261 comments Excellent! I will start tonight too. It is a short book and probably won't take us too long.


message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (ylisa7) | 208 comments I finished it and curious what you both think. For me it did not live up to it's hype. I'm not good with secrets and not being open. Lucy and her mother both held too much in and I could not comprehend why they didn't air things out. Their's was a very superficial relationship that turned into a nothing relationship. There was no bond and I sadly had no feelings for the characters. Nothing ever got resolved yet they didn't move on.

Sorry about that. Many times I am in the minority with some rave review books.


message 6: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13261 comments Oh no! Sorry you didn't like it, Lisa. I haven't had a chance to start yet. I have a deposition tomorrow and had to prep tonight. I'm planning to start in just a bit, but won't get too far tonight.


message 7: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori Had the chance to start yesterday evening & I like it, so far. It has a comfortable flow and I also like how the main character speaks about her emotions without too much kitsch or sentiment.


message 8: by Ava Catherine (last edited Mar 02, 2016 12:14AM) (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I finished it in one sitting and loved it. The tenderness of the writing is touching, and the author's quiet approach to difficult content is pitch perfect.
Lucy is trying to bridge a fractured relationship with her mother and is delighted with a mother-daughter gossip about the people from their hometown. Lucy is coping with unspoken childhood wounds and trying to create a loving environment for her own girls at the same time.
(view spoiler)


message 9: by Caecilia (last edited Mar 01, 2016 11:30PM) (new)

Caecilia Saori Connie (Ava Catherine) wrote: "I finished it in one sitting and loved it. The tenderness of the writing is touching, and the author's quiet approach to difficult content is pitch perfect.
Lucy is trying to bridge a fractured re..."


"quiet approach" ... exactly :-)
this book is really calm and feels good to read.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (ylisa7) | 208 comments Connie (Ava Catherine) wrote: "I finished it in one sitting and loved it. The tenderness of the writing is touching, and the author's quiet approach to difficult content is pitch perfect.
Lucy is trying to bridge a fractured re..."


Good thoughts on it. I have trouble with people who can't let go of their past and that affects my liking and disliking of some books. Glad you liked it:)


message 11: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori Lisa - in regards to your latest comment.
about the people who cannot let go of their past ...

I think, for Lucy the week-long stay in the hospital & the unexpected arrival of her mother - the sharing and listening - has created room and time for her, to dig out these memories from her past. I do not have the feeling that she couldn't "let go" ... it's more situation-related. - but then, I am not finished with the book yet ;-)


message 12: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (ylisa7) | 208 comments Caecilia wrote: "Lisa - in regards to your latest comment.
about the people who cannot let go of their past ...

I think, for Lucy the week-long stay in the hospital & the unexpected arrival of her mother - the sha..."


Good point. The only thing Lucy and her mother have in common is their past.


message 13: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13261 comments I only made it to page 34 last night before I crashed, though I should have more time tonight. I wasn't loving the writing. There were a few repetitive lines that made me go back and check that I wasn't rereading a line and the dialogue seemed stilted and hesitant. It just wasn't flowing for me. I'm hoping it's one of those cases where I just need to get used to the author's writing style.


message 14: by Caecilia (last edited Mar 02, 2016 05:38AM) (new)

Caecilia Saori Lisa wrote: "Caecilia wrote: "Lisa - in regards to your latest comment.
about the people who cannot let go of their past ...

I think, for Lucy the week-long stay in the hospital & the unexpected arrival of her..."


this time, I gotta say - good point ;-) to you.
(view spoiler)

oh well - perhaps my question will be answered as I read on.


message 15: by Caecilia (last edited Mar 02, 2016 07:25AM) (new)

Caecilia Saori Kristie wrote: "I only made it to page 34 last night before I crashed, though I should have more time tonight. I wasn't loving the writing. There were a few repetitive lines that made me go back and check that I w..."

I am sorry to hear you are struggling with Strout's writing style. perhaps, you will find it easier when trying to read with a fresh mind :-)

I like the way she lets her main character speak. it's so peaceful (for me) and the reading feels like listening to her.


message 16: by Caecilia (last edited Mar 04, 2016 10:24PM) (new)

Caecilia Saori Just this moment, I have turned the last page.

so many thoughts beautifully captured in this novel. -- it was one of those read I have loved returning to. still have to let it all sink in, but the way how Strouts accents certain parts, was lovely. it also, is a book that gives space to the reader... space, room for the reader to think and fill in, the blanks. I so liked this.


message 17: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13261 comments I plan to finish today. It was one that I didn't have a real desire to pick up once I put it down, so it took me longer than expected to read. I really thought I would love this one, but to be honest I'm a bit bored and I don't really care about the characters. It's quite disappointing.

I would try another book by this author, just to see if it's the author's writing stye or this specific story that doesn't resonate with me. I don't dislike the story. I just don't particularly like it either.


message 18: by Caecilia (new)

Caecilia Saori :-) Kristie .. thank you for your honest comment.
I think we've all been there that a book we had high hopes for, in the end .. couldn't meet our expectations.

For me, it was also the right time to read this book. Probably, had I read it only a year earlier, I might have put it aside also. I thought it contained a lot of tiny everyday thoughts, many of which are going through my mind, too :-)


message 19: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 13261 comments Partly, I think my issue is that I don't care for the characters, particularly Lucy's mom. She loves to gossip about people and I've never been one to enjoy gossip.


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You'll love this one...!! A book club & more

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