My Name Is Lucy Barton is the story of a woman who reconnects with her estranged mother after years apart. Through her thoughts, between conversations with her mother, Lucy makes it clear that the home she grew up in was not safe for a child. Her father suffered from undiagnosed PTSD, and her mother lacked the ability to express love. Strout explores the difficulty that we all have with connecting our memories of childhood, and our fears or traumas, with the love and need that we have for our parents, as adults. If we, as Lucy did, feel hurt, shamed and angry by our original family, how can we also still need them and love them as adults? There are many questions that Strout does not answer, that she cannot answer, but allows, as a character in the book states, us, the reader, to view that human condition and to ask ourselves the same questions. Written in a beautiful, conversational style, My Name Is Lucy Barton is impossible to put down once begun.
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My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout (2016)