What an incredible addition to Strout’s oeuvre! Her last 7 books are not really a true series, but some of the characters appear in several of the prior books going all the way back to Olive Kitteridge. This book is much better for those readers who have been following Strout’s work, but if you haven’t done that I think you will also enjoy it.
Lucy by the Sea
by Elizabeth Strout – 2022
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr 8h 19m
Rating: 8.75 / contemporary fiction
And just as a little bonus, Olive Kitteridge shows up in Lucy by the Sea. LOL! (A number of the characters live in the same small town.) But Lucy’s sister and others also live not too far away.
That’s okay. Each book is different and this is the book I’ve been looking forward to since April of 2020 when Covid was suddenly all over the place. I’ve read several other novels where the pandemic is used as a kind of theme or plot device. Here the pandemic is used to masterfully develop characters, plot, and Strout’s usual themes of family, especially mothers, marriage, are intertwined with those of connections, “lockdowns,” and home.
But this is Lucy’s story. Lucy is the protagonist in My Name is Lucy Barton as well as in Anything is Possible, and Oh William but she appears in other of Strout’s novels. These books are each stand-alone and marvelous in their own rights.
Lucy has been divorced from William, her first husband, for a number of years (Oh, William), and now her second husband has recently died. The pandemic arrives and William, who is still a friend, insists she come with him to visit mutual friends in Maine. Meanwhile Lucy’s daughter Becka and her husband are having serious difficulties while Christie, their other daughter, seems to be doing fine.
And Covid is up and running in the US, increasing daily. So quarantine becomes the order of the day with William being far more concerned than others. And then the couple starts worrying about other matters they see happening during that whole difficult year.
But the tale deals gently with very difficult current issues and I’d love to have time to read it again.
Thank you for your reviews on your book blog. I like the Strout novels and now look forward to reading this one.
Glad you enjoy them, David! 🙂