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This new book from Strout continues delving into the life of Lucy Barton, a character from "My Name is Lucy Barton", and a host of characters loosely connected to her. The Lucy Barton book read more like a novel, with a linear story line. The format of this book resembles the interconnecting short story mode the author used in her book "Olive Kitteridge". Accordingly, each chapter is a different short story, a different piece of a broader picture. In the end, as the puzzle fits together, it becomes a novel.
Strout's writing keeps getting better with each book. Be aware that this listen keeps you on your toes remembering just how each character is connected to all the others. What's more, the author uses gossip in one story to offer closure to a previous character's predicament in earlier stories. This was artfully and beautifully done.
To me, the book was a powerful meditation on not just imperfect love, to quote the author, but something much darker and far more disturbing. These stories look at abuse and the using of or neglect of others in many different forms and in varying degrees. This book is certainly not for everyone and not what I was expecting. Harrowing, heartbreaking, thought provoking and unnerving.
These were excellent character studies and the writing was fantastic. A perfect example of Strout's ability to transport the reader deep into the lives of others. However, be prepared for a really tough listen.
35 of 39 people found this review helpful
I loved the writing - she is a skilled wordsmith! But there so many characters I sometimes felt quite lost!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful