This was one of those books that I had seen around Waterstones a few times, but never got round to buying. But, as part of my HUGE post Christmas book haul (video to come soon, promise), I finally bought My Name is Lucy Barton. All I really knew about the book was that it is set in New York and is about a woman stuck in hospital who is visited by her mother. Simple enough!
What I wasn’t expecting, was a book that is unputdownable and completely original. I think that lovers of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, will probably love this book too. It tells the story of a woman who is living a successful life, has a loving husband, two great children, but is still caught up in the past. Through her time in hospital for something quite straight forward, she begins to realise that she isn’t living in the moment and also to face up to the fact that her life as a child was actually very traumatic.
This book is written in a very unusual way, moving outwards from a central point so that we move backwards and forwards in time, yet it is never confusing. I really enjoyed being in Lucy’s head for a while and seeing her view of the world. It reminded The Bell Jar but with a modern tone.
I honestly didn’t want this book to end. It is simple in it’s narrative and yet is also a very complex, deeply moving novel. I can’t wait to read every other book that Elizabeth Strout has ever written!