My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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. Her unexpected visit forces Lucy to confront the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of her life: her impoverished childhood in Amgash, Illinois, her escape to New York and her desire to become a writer, her faltering 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. In My Name Is Lucy Barton, one of America's finest writers shows how a simple hospital visit illuminates the most tender relationship of all-the one between mother and daughter.
TITLE: My Name is Lucy Barton
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Strout & Rona Munro
NARRATOR: Laura Linney
PUBLISHER: Random House/Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
PUBLICATION DATE: February 4, 2020
“I suspect I said nothing because I was doing what I have done most of my life, which is to cover for the mistakes of others when they don't know they have embarrassed themselves. I do this, I think, because it could be me a great deal of the time.”
-My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout
My Name is Lucy Barton is the first I’ve read by Elizabeth Strout, or should I say, listened to, thanks to the generosity of Libro.FM and Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. My Name is Lucy Barton is narrated by Laura Linney and I found both the story and the teller to be spectacular in their ability to touch on my feelings as both a mother and a daughter. This is one of those story’s that evoked a whole range of emotions from me as it explored the dysfunctional relationship between a daughter and her mother in the past, in the present and a look in to the future. The motivating force of Lucy’s analysis is her admission to the hospital and her mother’s unlikely visit from Amgash, Illinois; giving an in-depth look at the relationship that Lucy has with her mentally ill father and the abuse she, her siblings, and her mother suffered from not only from him but from the community as a whole.
While this isn’t an edge-of-your-seat book, I found it no less compelling than the majority of thrillers I listen to. There’s a certain wistfulness and poignancy that I found appealing, making this a story worth listening to whether you take anything away from it or not.