9/20/22; 304 pages
Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout is a so-so pandemic novel.
Basically, William whisks Lucy out of NYC to live out the pandemic
lockdown in a remote home located in a coastal community in Maine.
I've been a huge fan of Lucy Barton and have enjoyed Strout's novels for years. I was looking forward to reading Lucy by the Sea,
but once I started it, the novel fell so flat I also most didn't finish
it. Strout gets points for her ability to write and that's it. It's a
pandemic lock down novel and a lazy, scattered story lacking a keen
focus. I didn't care about this fictional story which felt perfunctory
and whiny. There was no great story here.
All of us experienced the lockdown (or not) in different ways and all of us have our own stories. Setting aside this novel and allowing time to temper the facts and events would have been wiser than publishing this. My fluid rule that authors need to keep their personal editorializing on social/political views on contemporary topics to themselves and out of new books as it diminishes and dates the novel, yet again, applies. This is a disappointment. I'm apparently a complete outlier among reviewers, but I can't believe all the people writing glowing reviews read the same novel I did.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Random House via NetGalley
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