February: “My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout

My Name is Lucy Barton
by Elizabeth Strout

Our February 2016 Book of the Month

On a weekly basis publishers and agents send me more books than I could possibly read. In my quest for book club selections I do read two or three books a week. It is a rare book these days that stops me in my tracks, and as I will tell anyone that will listen to me, this book is THAT BOOK. My Name is Lucy Barton is a novel that deeply explores the often tangled, frayed and stretched thread that forever binds mothers and daughters. Twenty years after my own mother’s death I still feel the pull of that bond playing out in a myriad of ways including my relationship with my grown daughter. This is not a book easily described and I do not want to attempt to put into words a book that is so beautiful, heartbreaking and emotionally satisfying. Strout has written a powerful story told through the prism of a writer discovering her voice. As stated perfectly within the book, “This is a story about a mother who loves her daughter. Imperfectly.” Elizabeth Strout has been lauded for most of her work and she was spiraled into international renown by her Pulitzer Prize winning Olive KittredgeMy Name is Lucy Barton is by far her best-published work. This is the novel of a masterful and mature writer in complete control and at the top of her craft. Your book club must read this book!


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.


Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City.

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