My Name Is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout

My Name Is Lucy Barton

By Elizabeth Strout

  • Release Date: 2016-01-12
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 3.5
From 559 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter in this extraordinary novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys.

The Washington Post • The New York Times Book Review • NPR • BookPage • LibraryReads • Minneapolis Star Tribune • St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.


“A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words.”The Boston Globe

“It is Lucy’s gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother’s shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful.”San Francisco Chronicle

“A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . 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

“Spectacular . . . Smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . [Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times.”—Lily King, The Washington Post

“An aching, illuminating look at mother-daughter devotion.”—People

“This slim, perceptive novel packs more sentiment and pain into its unsparingly honest and forthright prose than novels two and three times as long. Strout . . . has always awed us with her ability to put into words the mysterious and unfathomable ways in which people cherish each other.”—Chicago Tribune


  • Annoying.

    By Cut wood
    I found the dialog annoying and repetitive.
  • A tender story of a life's truth

    By LyndAndFriends
    I'm reading this book on my iPad. I will buy it so I have it on my shelf, to share, to savor. Lucy left her hard, rural, poor childhood life to attend college. Her relationships with her family of origin were strained, always, but moving beyond the family norm left a deep resentment. Personally, many things Lucy went through, felt, questioned, needed, lost, are things I have experienced. This book, this story, is a written so beautifully. Lucy admits to her vulnerable memories. Maybe this was how things were, maybe this is what happened. It's a book I want to have friends read and then talk about it. And talk about it some more.
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton

    By Perky too
    Two words...."very strange ". I usually like this author but this was a big letdown. There is no plot or story line and her writing style is very different. If you want to read something very entertaining from Strout read The Burgess Boys or Isabelle and Amy.
  • parent child relationship

    By Toni FGMAMTC
    3.5 stars This story kept my interest the entire time, but I don't really know what the point was. I felt like maybe it was about how we all make mistakes or how we have to love our parents even if they weren't always good parents? I really just don't know. It's like a lady just telling random things in her life.
  • Hmmm.....

    By The Pilot's Daughter
    Well at least I got it on sale as an e-book. My first book by this author, and it was so fragmented that were it longer I would have lost track of the different characters/ situations. Not a light book, in fact dark enough to warn me away from reading her other stories. We all have darkness and despair in our lives, but such is the theme of the main character, that I'm not sure she ever truly let the light in.
  • Not one of my favorites.

    By Knit Nammy
    I know this book is about relationships, and how childhood experiences affect our adult lives, but I had a difficult time caring about any of the characters in this book. I'm not sure how this book became a best seller. I felt the story rambled at times, although, I understood Lucy's mother showed Lucy she loved her in the only way she could, and that she was, and always would be, blind to the damage she and Lucy's father inflicted on their children. Lucy alluded to (sexual abuse?) "that THING" that happened. Or was it the snake in the car? Or was the snake in the car mixed up in her mind with sexual abuse? I had to force myself to finish this book, which tends to make me want to just get it over with and on to something else. Therefore, being an avid reader of higher quality fiction, I have to say, that book just wasn't one of my favorites.
  • Dismal

    By Dogsbody67
    Such a dismal story with very little insight into why characters are so awful. Not much point in reading it at all.
  • My name is Lucy Barton

    By Audiobook hooked
    I found this book boring. It drones on and on and often times I fall asleep. Learned nothing. Maybe I just missed it, but this book is absolutely not worth purchasing. Sorry about that.
  • Wish there was less than one star to give

    By Sagewage
    It was a waste of time and money to buy and read this. She rambles on and then the very short book ends abruptly
  • No Plot, Unlikeable Protagonist

    By jesca1086
    This book left me thinking, "that was it?!" Very disappointing.