My name is Lucy Barton is a story about a woman called (like the title says) Lucy Barton who is recovering after a surgery. Her story is often sad and painful. We learn about her childhood and family, how her family was poor and how she didn’t have much of a happy childhood.
While recovering at the hospital in New York, her mother who she hadn’t seen in years visits her. She stays with her for a few days and as we read on, we learn more about Lucy’s childhood and her friends and family. Her mother talks to her about her childhood friends and starts telling her stories. Lucy is married and has two daughters that she really misses. She is a writer and she tells us a lot of stories from her past which give us some kind of an image of why she is who she is now. As her mother starts telling her stories she begins to miss her mother more and more. She begins to realise how alike they are. How they both don’t like to be judged by the books they read or by the clothes they wear. Their relationship has always been there but was never fully realised by them…
I loved this short story because it felt real. I have never read anything by Elizabeth Strout but I feel like she knows how to make you feel for the characters you read, which not many people can do in 200 pages. Lucy Barton was a truly remarkable character who was full of wisdom and stories which leave a mark on you. I particularly enjoyed the parts where she analysed people and how just by looking at them she would read their face and wonder. She also spoke a lot about loneliness and there were some lines I felt were touching, like this one:
”…and I see now that he recognized what I did not: that in spite of my platitude, I was lonely. Lonely was the first flavor I tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.”
“I feel almost, then, that I can hear within me the sound of my own heart breaking, the way you could hear outside in the open air – the conditions were exactly right – the corn growing in the fields of my youth”
This was an amazing short story filled with wisdom. Strout gave us an insight in the life of a woman who was a powerful storyteller and whose stories will stay with me for a long time. I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy stories about the nature of human relationships.