27 Jan My Name is Lucy Barton
As a fan of works by Elizabeth Strout (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys) I was really excited to get my hands on her latest book entitled My Name is Lucy Barton. I could hardly put this book down and finished it in two readings. There is no doubt that the author, once again, has risen to the occasion to explore the depths of human relationships.
During a nine-week stay at a NYC hospital for a mysterious illness following surgery, Lucy’s mother unexpectedly flies to her bedside. There is a distance between mother and daughter resulting from the painful struggles of an impoverished life growing up in small town Illinois. Their time together sparks some healing for parental failures that leads to their reconciliation despite the fact that Lucy’s mother is unable to utter verbal affirmation that she is loved.
As an author herself, Lucy struggles with owning her own truth. Over the years her connection with writer Sarah Payne helps her explore how we remember and convey our own truths, ultimately leading to a time when Lucy can fully claim the beauty of being able to say “My name is Lucy Barton” with passion and dignity.
This story—about imperfect love and the struggle for connection—not only peers into the heart of a woman in need of healing; it also explores how fiction offers the possibility to heal the human condition.