“There was a time, and it was many years ago now,” Elizabeth Strout’s slim and spectacular novel begins, “when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks.” And it feels like she is going to tell us a story, the old-fashioned, uncomplicated kind. But only for a little while.
A simple plot about a complex relationship between mother and daughter. Authentic, painful at times, emotional but not sentimental.
A short, quiet novel. I read in one sitting (about 2 hours) which I think is probably the best way to read it if you can. It will stick with you for days, weeks afterwards.
Strout is widely praised for her descriptive characterisation. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with Olive Kitteridge in 2009. I am yet to read this but I absolutely plan to.
“Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.”
“But the books brought me things. This is my point. They made me feel less alone.”
AWARDS: Long listed for Man Booker 2016. Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction 2017. Author is Pulitzer Prize Fiction Winner 2009.