Lucy By the Sea; Elizabeth Strout
Random House - 9/2022
Even though this book will not be officially released until September 2022, any new book by Elizabeth Strout in my hands always seems to show how little self-control I have.
In this story Lucy (My Name if Lucy Barton), (Anything is Possible) and (Oh, William!) is convinced by her ex-husband William to pack a bag and flee her apartment in New York City with him, just prior to COVID shutting down the city. Lucy, a writer, was scheduled to leave for Europe on a book tour, but William, a scientist has convinced her to do what he says. The couple has been divorced for years but have remained friends and have two adult daughters. William has rented a house by the sea in Maine from an old friend and, he has reconnected with a sister that until the last few years he never knew that he had. Although living together after being divorced for many years takes some getting used to, the couple soon fall into some comfortable routines. We also get brief references to some of the characters from her previous books like Olive Kitteridge and Bill Burgess and, insight into their lives of the couple's two daughters.
As always Elizabeth Strout writes with emotion and her characters have so much depth. The author has a way of telling a story that always seems to make me think about how my own life has played out. Marriage, the joys and worries that come with parenthood even when your children are grown and on their own. The pride we feel from the accomplishments, what we have achieved personally and professionally, and, those things that we might have tweaked a bit if there was a chance at a do-over. The Maine setting and isolation from family and friends that many of us felt prior to a vaccine becoming available was palpable in this story. Although this book is part of a series, it could be read as stand alone -- I don't suggest it though as the build up of the series is really what makes each novel special. Elizabeth Strout always manages to hit all the right notes, I'm already looking forward to her 2023 offering (I hope.)
RATING - 5/5 stars
NOTE: An eGalley was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.