Book Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My Review (5 Stars: Loved it!)

My Name Is Lucy Barton: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 12 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 12, 2016
(purchase from amazon)

My Name Is Lucy Barton was an interesting read (listen) for a day.

Familial relationships can be complicated.  In My Name Is Lucy Barton, Lucy looks back at a time when her mother, after not seeing her in years, visits with her during her stay in the hospital.

This novel is a retrospect of Lucy’s life.  She grew up extremely poor and lived in a garage during most of her early years.

Strout packs a powerful punch in this short novel.

It seems the author, Elizabeth Strout, was expressing elusive ideas and hit the mark on several of them.  Some of the story was a little vague.  I think that was the author’s intention.

A few of my takeaways:

It is interesting how our circumstances in life can shape our views.

It is interesting the way in which we remember our past can be different than it actually was.

Unknown gaps of information, learned later in life, might change our perspectives on the past.

The narrator had an eerie tone.  I’m not sure I would have struck the same tone in my head, if I had read the hard copy.

I’ve read mixed reviews about this book.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed listening to My Name Is Lucy Barton, especially since it was so short.

What Others Are Saying

“This short (around 200 pages) novel is quieter, more introspective, and possesses a little less in the way of plot than Strout’s previous offerings, but it is every bit as wonderful.” – JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

“My Name is Lucy Barton‘s gorgeously written hard truths give this quiet book power in a compact package.” – Sarah   @ Sarah’s Book Shelves

“This is the first time I’ve tried a Strout book, but I plan on reading/listening to more from her. I enjoyed learning about Lucy, she felt like a friend telling me her life’s story.” – Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach

“The meandering style of the narrative has an autobiographical nature to it, with Lucy trying to make sense of her life, her feelings, and her choices. While I found Lucy’s thoughts and feelings interesting and reflective of a life raised in poverty with the hint of some abuse and neglect, nothing is actually stated clearly. Much is left unsaid. Almost as if the emotional impoverishment of the characters stifled the expression of their experiences. The story left me unfulfilled, in terms of Lucy’s issues, as if more information was just waiting to be brought forth, but somehow was lost in translation. Therefore, 4 stars.” – Laurel-Rain Snow

About The Author (from the author’s website)

AWARDS & HONORS

Honorary Doctorate from Bates College (2010)

OLIVE KITTERIDGE

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2009)
Premio Bancarella Prize (2010)
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist (2008)

AMY & ISABELLE

Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2000)
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (LA Times, 1999)
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist (2000)

SHORT STORIES

O. Henry Prize for “Snowblind” (2015)

6 thoughts on “Book Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout”

Comments are closed.