The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted. My theme for 2023 is Book Reviews.
You can read my reviews without worrying about spoilers. My reviews are quite brief and I give away nothing more than you would read on the back cover or on Goodreads.
“Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are.
So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout’s “perfect attunement to the human condition.” There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together—even after we’ve grown apart.
At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.” – Goodreads
Published in 2021. 240 pages
This is a quite a short novel, but that doesn’t at all detract from it’s substance, or my enjoyment of the story. Elizabeth Strout has created characters who are flawed, and are totally relatable. The story of Lucy who is in her sixties, is also the story of her ex husband William. Lucy and William have been divorced for years, but have remained friends. This is a lovely story about relationships, the worries of ageing, memories, family, and the thoughts we have that worry us.
Perhaps it’s because Lucy and William are very close in age to me, but I really did identify with these characters. I felt their pain and their joy. I also understood the importance of their memories to them, at this stage of their lives. Perhaps this was also due to the excellent writing of the author.
I didn’t realise until I finished Oh William! that it is book three in the Lucy Barton series. Not having read the first two, didn’t make Oh William! any less enjoyable. However, I now have the other three books on my TBR list. Below is a photo of the books in order.
Image – Penguin Publishing
All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.
Please note that my star rating system isn’t at all based on literary merit, but is based on my enjoyment for the book.
For me a book that gets five stars, is a book that I really enjoyed, and found difficult to put down.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Unputdownable. Would definitely read again
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Fantastic read. Not to be missed.
⭐️⭐️⭐️Enjoyable read. Would recommend.
⭐️⭐️Wouldn’t read again
⭐️Don’t recommend this book again
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Images and author information: Goodreads
You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life and Tracking Down The Family
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I guess you were drawn to it by the family history mystery?
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I think I’ll like this one. When I saw the name I was reminded of the “”Sue Barton” series I read as a child – must see if I have them recorded on Goodreads.
I’m sure you would like this one Jill
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I didn’t know about it, but it was an added bonus
This sounds like an ideal novel for a genealogist! And I like that it’s short, too, so I can fit it between longer works.
You are playing havoc with my TBR list. This appeals because of the family history element.
This is a good reminder Jen, my sister has mentioned Elizabeth Strout books to me several times! Thanks for the review.
Hi Jen, I must re-read this book which I read last year I believe. I didn’t realise there were others in the series so will check them out. thanks for the review. WWandP
I’m looking forward to reading the earlier books too Sue
My pleasure Deb. Thanks for visiting.
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I’ve got these books in my wishlist for Audible but have yet to buy one…interesting to read your take. So good to read your post and see it in the link up for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. Thank you! Hope to see you next week too. Denyse.
The family history mystery element sounds interesting.
Ronel visiting for O:
My Languishing TBR: O
Oreads: Nymphs of the Mountains
It adds another layer to the story