"Lucy is recovering from an operation in a New York hospital when she wakes to find her estranged mother sitting by her bed. They have not seen one another in years. As they talk Lucy finds herself recalling her troubled rural childhood and how it was she eventually fetched up in the big city, got married and had kids. But this unexpected visit leaves her doubting the life she's made: wondering what is lost and what has yet to be found. "
I am deeply impressed. Writing of this quality comes from a commitment to listening, from a perfect attunement to the human condition, from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue. I have never read her before and I knew within a few sentences that here was an artist to value and respect -- Hilary Mantel Strout's best novel yet -- Ann Patchett An exquisite novel... in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to - 'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy' - simple joy -- Claire Messud, New York Times Book Review So good I got goosebumps... a masterly novel of family ties by one of America's finest writers Sunday Times My Name is Lucy Barton confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships... Deeply affecting novel...visceral and heartbreaking...If she hadn't already won the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge this new novel would surely be a contender Observer Hypnotic...yielding a glut of profoundly human truths to do with flight, memory and longing Mail on Sunday This is a book you'll want to return to again and again and again Irish Independent Slim and spectacular...My Name Is Lucy Barton is smart and cagey in every way. It starts with the clean, solid structure and narrative distance of a fairy tale yet becomes more intimate and improvisational, coming close at times to the rawness of autofiction by writers such as Karl Ove Knausgaard and Rachel Cusk. Strout is playing with form here, with ways to get at a story, yet nothing is tentative or haphazard. She is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times... Washington Post My Name Is Lucy Barton is a short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters... It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one Newsday Her concise writing is a masterclass in deceptive simplicity...Strout writes with an exacting rhythm, with each word and clause perfectly placed and weighted and each sentence as clear and bracing as grapefruit. It's a small masterpiece Daily Mail This short, simple, quiet novel wriggles its way right into your heart and stays there Red A beautifully taut novel Guardian Agleam with extraordinary psychological insights...delicate, tender but ruthless reveries Sunday Express An eerie, compelling novel, its deceptively simple language is a 'slight rush of words' which hold much more than they seem capable of containing...This novel is about the need to create a story we can live with when the real story cannot be told... Financial Times Strout uses a different voice herself in this novel: a spare simple one, elegiac in tone that sometimes brings to mind Joan Didion's The Tablet An exquisitely written story...a brutally honest, absorbing and emotive read Catholic Universe This is a glorious novel, deft, tender and true. Read it Sunday Telegraph Honest, intimate and ultimately unforgettable Stylist Sympathetic, subtle and sometimes shocking -- Emma Healey Plain and beautiful...Strout writes with an extraordinary tenderness and restraint -- Kate Summerscale One of this year's best novels: an intense, beautiful book about a mother and a daughter, and the difficulty and ambivalence of family life -- Marcel Theroux Elizabeth Strout's prose is like words doing jazz -- Rachel Joyce Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge is the best novel I've read for some time -- David Nicholls