Lucy by the Sea
by Elizabeth Strout
Publication Date September 20, 2022
Published by Random House Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Sagas
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
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.
Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout is the fourth book in her popular Amgash series. This can be read as a standalone but is so much better if you read the previous books in the series. Lucy by the Sea is a fascinating look into a divorced couple and their experience with the COVID pandemic and lockdown.
Lucy Barton is still grieving her husband, David’s death almost a year ago. Her ex-husband William calls her and tells her he wants to take her out of the city, to Maine, in order to avoid the new virus that is just starting to spread in New York City. Lucy is skeptical but eventually agrees to go with William to a small town on the coast of Maine for the duration of the virus.
This is my second book by Elizabeth Strout and I enjoyed this much more than Oh William, and I think it’s because I was already familiar with the characters and her very unique writing style. Elizabeth Strout’s writing style is very different than anything else I’ve read before, and it’s a style you will either love for its simplicity or dislike entirely.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book, considering the subject matter. The pandemic is a world event that affected all of us very much, and I will never forget the way the world changed. Although it’s not something I want to re-live, I did like the way this book explored the way the virus affected these characters. With Elizabeth Strout’s very frank way of writing, I saw the pandemic through the eyes of these characters and I enjoyed the way Lucy looks at the world.
I highly recommend Lucy by the Sea to anyone who enjoys fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read Lucy by the Sea? Is it something you would enjoy?
I really enjoyed Lucy Barton and am looking forward to this one. I’m so glad to see how much you enjoyed it!
I wouldn’t mind reading pandemic books. This sounds really good. Amazing review, Wendy!
This does sound like a very interesting story. The writing style has me intrigued too. I’m wondering if I would hate it or love it. Excellent review!
I had trouble getting used to the writing in the first book I read, but this second one, I was very comfortable with it.
I’ve heard such great things about this book and author. I’m glad you loved it so much. I have it on my TBR; I’m just not sure I’m ready to relive the pandemic through literature yet, lol.
I liked the way they handled the pandemic in this book, but it could easily be too soon for many readers.
Fantastic review! I haven’t read any fiction about Covid yet but I might check this one out.
It’s pretty good, but it’s better to read the previous books first.
I’ve only read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, but really do need to Lucy Barton. Your review was lovely and it makes me eager to get my hands on this series.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Olive Kitteridge makes a small cameo in this book.
I am finding it quite interesting how the COVID pandemic is being brought into books more now, although it was a hard time I think reading about other peoples experiences even if fiction is interesting, great review 💕
I do too, Jenny. I like learning how others handled it.
I’ve read three books by this author and found them all to be quite depressing. I’m glad that you enjoyed this book though Wendy.
Then you probably won’t like this one either, Jodie. It’s all about the pandemic, so it’s even more serious than her other books. 🙂
The U.S. cover looks like a thriller; it seems the U.K. cover would be more in keeping with the novel.
I didn’t notice that before, Linda. But, you’re right, the US cover does look like a thriller.
Glad you enjoyed it. I am not sure I would pick this one though.
It’s not for everyone that’s for sure. It’s a bit soon after the pandemic for a lot of people.
I’ve heard such good things about this book. I still need to read Strout’s previous novels. They sound equally good.
They are really different, you either love it or dislike her writing style.
This does sound really interesting, and pandemic reading can be tough for some, I know, but I’m curious to see how this explores that! It is a fascinating topic, even though we lived through it there are so many perspectives and individual stories!
I agree with you Greg. How we each survived the pandemic is very interesting, as we all have different responses.
This is one I’d have to get in the right mindset to read. I’m sure I’d enjoy it, but not sure I’m ready to revisit that time yet, lol. Great review, Wendy!
Yes, it’s almost like re-living the pandemic, so it’s not for everyone at this time. But, I sure enjoyed it.
I have only read Olive Kitteridge, I haven’t caught up with any more books by this author.
Olive Kitteridge does make a cameo appearance in this book.
What a beautiful book cover. I’m glad you enjoyed this book, even with the themes of the pandemic, it’s great that the author was able to explore how it affected the characters. Great review Wendy!
Great review, Wendy! Glad you enjoyed it. You are on a roll with great books!
Thank you, Cindy. I have read some good ones lately.
Wonderful review Wendy. Glad you enjoyed this so much. I’ve heard many good things about the previous books and do ultimately want to get to these🙂
It’s best to read these in order.
I’m not sure if I would be ready for a covid book like this yet. It does sound good, though. Great review.
I think that is the one downfall to the book is that a lot of people won’t be ready for a COVID story.
Wonderful review Wendy. I have this one to review as well 🤗📚💞
I hope you enjoy it, Susan!