20 September 2022

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout Book Review! #LucybytheSea #NetGalley


From Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout comes a poignant, pitch-perfect novel about a divorced couple stuck together during lockdown—and the love, loss, despair, and hope that animate us even as the world seems to be falling apart.

With her trademark spare, crystalline prose—a voice infused with “intimate, fragile, desperate humanness” (The Washington Post)—Elizabeth Strout turns her exquisitely tuned eye to the inner workings of the human heart, following the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton through the early days of the pandemic.

As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea.

Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we’re apart—the pain of a beloved daughter’s suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love.


"One proof of Elizabeth Strout’s greatness is the sleight of hand with which she injects sneaky subterranean power into seemingly transparent prose.
— The New York Times Book Review

Elizabeth Strout is the author of several novels, including: Abide with Me, a national bestseller and BookSense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteridge. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker. She teaches at the Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte.

My Thoughts

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout is the 4th book in the Amgash series. The story is about Lucy Barton, her ex-husband William and their two daughters, and their significant others. It is how Lucy's ex gets her out of New York City during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. 

William has found a place in Maine that he feels that they can go to to get away and stay safe from Covid. Lucy is an author and she can pretty much work from anywhere. It only starts out to be a few weeks but we all know that that is not what happens. We still have the virus going on in 2022. 

Lucy and William have a past that is complicated, a contentious divorce, he had cheated on her and she retaliates by having an affair also. She really worries about her girls, one having numerous miscarriages and how it affects her marriage, and the other daughter in an unhappy marriage contemplates an affair.

Lucy and William like to walk so that is what Lucy does on a regular basis, usually along with newfound friend Bob Burgess. We learn a bit about Bob's past also (it is referenced in The Burgess Boys) They become fast friends. This is a story also about dysfunctional families, Lucy's own in particular. 

As time goes by, memories resurface that have Lucy and William questioning their relationship. Do they still love each other, even though after their divorce they both had marriages, Lucy's happy while William's not so much. Through long afternoons of thought, they come to conclusions that seem right for them. Getting back together. Is it just because they are lonely or the pandemic?  

This story was written with great thought to the lockdown, mostly in New York, and how it affected the population. A passionate and thoughtful story that resonates long after the book ends. I think it is because we are actually living in a world with Covid. How we all deal with it is imperative to the story.

I really enjoyed it, read it in a couple of sittings. 5 Stars all the way!

I received a copy of the book for review purposes only.

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