My Name is Lucy Barton

My Name Is Lucy Barton: A Novel - Elizabeth Strout

This was a more serious read than I expected. I listened to this novel as I did my daily walks among our neighborhood and along some trails and I was surprised at how lonely Lucy felt. Lying in her hospital bed, after a routine operation, Lucy lays waiting. She’s had a success life after a rugged childhood and I think as she waits for her body to heal, she is just resting.   When her mother arrives and they visit, I feel that she finally discovers what her life has amounted to. This surprise visit from her mother whom she hadn’t seen in years was arranged by her husband which was an expected act on his behalf. Growing up, Lucy and her family didn’t have much. They were isolated among the farm fields and they often did without. When her mother arrives at the hospital, Lucy begins to remember what her childhood was like. Those five days that her mother spent with Lucy in the hospital were priceless. Her mother gossips about the people from the town they grew up in, they spoke of topics that Lucy brought up and her mother hardly slept at all. I loved how her mother became her mother again. She looked after Lucy as if she was a young child and needed her constant protection, she never left her side and I had to wonder why she hadn’t been a mother to her outside those sterile walls? Emotions were tying these two together, connections were being rejoined but some subjects were not being discussed and it bothered me that Lucy was afraid to address these topics with her mother. It is strange to say that, I along with Lucy was upset when she had improved and was ready to be released. Mother called a taxi to take her to the airport and Lucy was set back to her home, their meeting over with. Lucy tremendously enjoyed her time with her mother and she learned great things about her mother and the things they talked about.   This is not a great novel to read while you’re walking as I continued to listen to the novel as Lucy’s relationship with her mother continues and the clock moves forward.   My emotions were getting the best of me while Lucy became a daughter again.

 

I liked how there were morals thrown into the novel, things that Lucy learned while growing up and she tried to apply them throughout her life. Growing up, she tried not to judge others for their actions for she didn’t know the life that they had led. Many times she reflected back on this moral in the novel and this is an important one that I try to follow.