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  • Great Book Club Pick!

    William and Lucy have remained friends, despite being divorced for 20 years. They have an understanding and respect for each other, which allows for their friendship. Since Lucy’s 2nd husband died and Williams third wife left him, they have frequently seen eachother, even traveled together. When Covid-19 hit NYC, William informs Lucy that they will pack up and go to Maine to avoid the virus, since one of Williams friends had died of Covid. This book is from Lucy point of view and how they navigated life through the pandemic. Lucy has so much insight on her own life, her children’s lives and Williams which makes this book entertaining! In this book, Lucy grapples with the loss of her husband David, Covid-19 Pandemic, her adult children’s problems, friendships, political/social issues, and of course her relationship with William. How will they cope with the pandemic? What will discover about themselves and others? This book leaves it open for future books, so I hope this author will continue the story! Elizabeth Strout has a way with words that allows the reader into Lucy’s head, so they can truly understand her and how she navigates life. Perfect for book clubs as it will lead to many interesting discussions.

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  • Lockdown With Lucy

    Elizabeth Strout’s last novel, “Oh, William!,” was recently longlisted for the prestigious Booker Award… and I enjoyed this year’s “Lucy by the Sea” so much more. Both books feature the title character first arriving in “My Name is Lucy Barton.” In “Oh, William!” Lucy constantly referred back to previous events and characters and followed up with “...but I’m not going to go into that now…” asides. The book was enjoyable and made sense as a stand-alone, but I had the sense of missing out by not being privy to the source of these references. Now, in “Lucy by the Sea,” The Pandemic. She is having trouble grasping what is happening to her world, the whole world, during the opening days of the outbreak. We were all thrown for a loop and it is hard to choose to revisit the panic we felt during the height of the disaster. Many editors counseled their authors to shy away from the topic, that readers were looking for escape. Too soon? Reading “Lucy by the Sea” I felt I could trust Elizabeth Strout with my post-covid fears. Lucy is not smarter than us in the way she reacts to the crisis, she is a real and ordinary and flawed human being. Viewing her response in hindsight we can sympathize with her bewilderment, the effects this is having on her. She worries about her memory and mental capacity at times. One of her friends reassures her that she is not alone, she could chalk it up as “Covid mind.” Nothing in that time was easy to digest. While set in the Covid era, this is Elizabeth Strout and we are not limited to social disaster. Interpersonal relationships are at the core. Lucy has fled New York with her first husband, William, and is now isolated from her daughters, her brother, and her sister. Life went on during the pandemic, including friends dying at long distance, family breakups, troubled pregnancies– all the life altering events hard enough to cope with when families are there to support one another. When the shocking attack on the Capital happens on January 6, she is so overloaded she can not watch the coverage, bolting from the room. Lucy has had a lot of loss and it seems magnified now. People do come to the rescue and provide hope. William confesses that hers is the life he wanted to save. Neighbors reach out to offset the initial hostilities the couple experienced moving into the small seaport village. The imaginary “nice” mother she has conjured is there to encourage her. This counters the negative messages of her real, much colder mother from a childhood she views as a lockdown of its own. “Lucy by the Sea” reexamines the impact the isolation had on us and the repercussions felt in our relationships. Lucy is such a riveting character– emotional and confused at times, reeling from grief, but always resilient. It is intriguing to rerun this period through her eyes. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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  • delightful book

    Lucy is in isolation during the Covid pandemic, along with her ex-husband, in a cottage in Maine. This book brought back feelings of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, not knowing what was to come and worry about family and friends. The retelling of the George Floyd incident and riots was touched on also. This book brings back every emotion and thought I felt during the pandemic. At first, I thought Lucy by the Sea was just another book set during this time in history, but it was so much more. I enjoyed this book. Thanks to author Elizabeth Strout, Random House Publishing, and NetGalley for providing a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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  • Enjoyable book about lockdown

    Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout is the fourth book in her popular Amgash series. This can be read as a standalone but is so much better if you read the previous books in the series. Lucy by the Sea is a fascinating look into a divorced couple and their experience with the COVID pandemic and lockdown. Lucy Barton is still grieving her husband, David’s death almost a year ago. Her ex-husband William calls her and tells her he wants to take her out of the city, to Maine, in order to avoid the new virus that is just starting to spread in New York City. Lucy is skeptical but eventually agrees to go with William to a small town on the coast of Maine for the duration of the virus. This is my second book by Elizabeth Strout and I enjoyed this much more than Oh William, and I think it’s because I was already familiar with the characters and her very unique writing style. Elizabeth Strout’s writing style is very different than anything else I’ve read before, and it’s a style you will either love for its simplicity or dislike entirely. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book, considering the subject matter. The pandemic is a world event that affected all of us very much, and I will never forget the way the world changed. Although it’s not something I want to re-live, I did like the way this book explored the way the virus affected these characters. With Elizabeth Strout’s very frank way of writing, I saw the pandemic through the eyes of these characters and I enjoyed the way Lucy looks at the world. I highly recommend Lucy by the Sea to anyone who enjoys fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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  • a timely tale

    I received a free electronic copy of this timely novel from Netgalley, Elizabeth Strout, and Random House Publishers. I have read Lucy by the Sea, number 4 in the Series Amgash, of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Our look into the lives of William and Lucy Barton begins on day one of the United States' reactions to the worldwide Covid pandemic, the search for vaccines, the oscillating rumors of always fatal to no worse than a bad cold, the actions of the highest office in our land that added to the failure to make an honest stab at controlling the infections. We see the pandemic through the eyes of Lucy Barton in stream-of-consciousness first-person snippets, creating a remarkable picture of how it was-is in our world even today. Elizabeth Strout always brings us a grand story. Lucy by the Sea is no exceptio

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