Have you ever felt deeply connected to an author, as if the two of you were simpatico?
That is how I feel about my “relationship” (lol) with Elizabeth Strout – I feel as though we are connected, and as though when reading her books, she is speaking directly to me. (As if that were even remotely possible…one can hope, however!).
When I began reading “Oh William” – I will admit to feeling as though Elizabeth Strout was just talking (to me – lol) about her life, even though I knew she had written this book in the character of “Lucy Barton” and about Lucy’s first husband William. Soon, however, I was swept away, by Lucy, her children, and of course, by William.
Lucy Barton unpacks a lot here: from her unresolved feelings for her parents and specifically her mother; to what happened in her marriage to William, and their children; and his current marriage.
Lucy Barton is a character who, through the last 3 novels, you can’t help but like, through trials and tribulations, Lucy perseveres. She is kind, hard-working, and honest. Far from perfect, Lucy does her best and that is something I think we can all strive for. To know her, frankly, is to love her.
As an aside, at the beginning of this book, Lucy Barton had an encounter with Pam Carlson, ex-wife of Bob Burgess, of “The Burgess Boys” – another novel by Ms. Strout – which just happens to be one of my favorite novels by Elizabeth Strout, after the Olive Kitteridge series. I adore Bobby Burgess, perhaps because I recognize a kindred spirit. So, Ms. Strout, if you read this and if you take requests, I would love it if you would consider writing another book about Bob Burgess, whose story broke my heart.
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and Elizabeth Strout for the arc.
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