Cover Image: Lucy by the Sea

Lucy by the Sea

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Member Reviews

Another delightful, engrossing read by Elizabeth Stout. The pandemic is the „setting,“ so to speak. I particularly like how the author includes characters from past books, not just the protagonist Lucy and her family, but also Bob from the Burgess Brothers, and even references to Olive Kittreridge. Definitely recommend.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this little book. The author has a unique style of writing. I enjoyed that it was current and about the pandemic. I also enjoyed how the author wove Olive Kitteredge into her story.

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Elizabeth Strout is one of my favorite authors.I have devoured each of her brilliant novels.I was pulled intoLucy By the Sea from the opening pages.I felt I was back in the beginning days of the pandemic I related to William and Lucy who feel like old friends to me.Their relationship their fear and isolation captured me in their lives.There is so many emotional moments their fear for their adult children contracting Covid doing everything to protect them and their care for each other.This is an exquisite heart wrenching novel that will stay with you long after you read the last words.#netgalley #lucybythesea.

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This is the best book I have read all year, probably one of the best books I have ever read in my 69 years on the planet. I have always followed Elizabeth Strout and her characters, and one of the best things about this book was being able to revisit olive, and William. I could really revisit my feelings when the pandemic first started. After reading this book I plan to go back and reread everyone of Elizabeth’s novels. Thank you so much for my advance copy. I will highly recommend this to our friends and family.. I see another Pulitzer or national book award in her future.

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I truly enjoy Strout's novels and this one does not disappoint.

This novel is a follow-up to "Oh, William," and it focuses on Lucy and William's temporary move from NYC to Maine during the initial Covid19 lockdown. I was not a fan of William in the previous book as I didn't totally get why Lucy would still be friends with her ex-husband, a man who manipulated and cheated on her regularly while they were married. But hey Lucy is Lucy! William slightly redeems himself in my opinion because he literally saves Lucy's life by whisking her away from the city.

This book is low on action, but that's Strout's talent. It's like sitting around a campfire and being engrossed by a great storyteller. I was enchanted from beginning to end.

Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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One of my all time favorite authors so I was thrilled to see this book on Net Galley for review. Olive Kitteridge is my favorite book by Elizabeth Strout but this comes in close at second. The book reintroduces Lucy Barton as she navigates the perils of living through the first Covid epidemic. Also reintroduced is Lucy's first husband, William, who has come to NYC to get Lucy and relocate to Maine for the duration of the epidemic. Mentioned briefly also is Olive Kitteridge. A wonderful written story, the author puts into words how we were all feeling during this awful time. I loved it and look forward to more of Elizabeth Strout's books.

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Lucy Barton is back! It isn't necessary to read the others in the series (My Name is Lucy Barton, Oh William!) but this novel picks up just about where Elizabeth Strout left us last in Oh William! (There are also a couple of references to some beloved older characters as well such as Olive Kitteridge!) In Lucy by the Sea we learn that Lucy is still worrying about her relationship with her daughters and grieving the death of her husband.

What is interesting about this book, aside from the brilliant prose, is that it serves as a time capsule to the Pandemic. Lucy lives in New York cIty, and it isn't long into the book before her ex husband William is asking her to leave the city to escape the pandemic in an urban setting. Lucy is bewildered by much of it - the masks, the quarantining and so forth, but William stays ahead of the fray, reading and following CDC regulations and precautions.

This relatively short story takes place during the two years of the pandemic and will certainly bring you back to some of your own questions (should I wash all of my groceries?) Lucy in her trademark inner voice, captures our collective middle class consciousness. The story is perfectly paced complete with references to what's to come. I absolutely love it! If you are an Elizabeth Strout fan (and who isn't) this isn't to be missed! #RandomHouse #NetGalley #LucybytheSea #ElizabethStrout

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If I had to choose a favorite author, it would most likely be Elizabeth Strout. I loved Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again, and have really enjoyed all of Strout's Lucy Barton books so far. So when I saw Lucy by the Sea on NetGalley I didn't hesitate to request it and was thrilled when I downloaded my copy.

Strout has written in the same stream-of-consciousness, conversational, informal way that I enjoyed in My Name Is Lucy Barton and especially in Oh William!, but there's just one small thing: this one is about Lucy during the pandemic. Lucy's ex-husband William takes her away from New York City to stay in William's friends' vacant house by the ocean in Maine. As a scientist, he understands what is happening with coronavirus and has a pretty good idea of how things are going to go in the future. We're right there with Lucy and William, taking daily walks, braving the grocery store, battling boredom and fear, and missing and worrying about their daughters. If I had to be stuck with someone during a pandemic, I would choose William, who almost always has a sound plan and is primarily concerned with Lucy's safety (although their daughters wonder if he might have an ulterior motive). Some characters from previous books show up (Bob Burgess and Olive Kitteridge) and it was like seeing old friends again.

I swore off pandemic books after I read Wish You Were Here, but I think what I really meant was that I didn't want to read any poorly-written pandemic books. Lucy is by the sea because of the pandemic, but Strout has filled this book with more wonderful insights from Lucy about loneliness, grief, longing, loss, resilience, and the human condition. I hope Elizabeth Strout keeps writing about Lucy Barton, because I will gladly keep reading.
"It is a gift in this life that we do not know what awaits us."
"And I thought: We are only doing what we can to get through."
Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for the ARC: A beautiful book to help navigate hard times. Strout follows Lucy Barton as she isolates with her ex-husband William during the early pandemic, years 2020/2021, in Maine. I'm a huge fan of Strout and she doesn't disappoint. Lucy Barton observes the pandemic with insight, sadness, irritation, initial loss of focus in the harsh beauty of a lonely house in Maine. Strout is able to even more fully develop the character: Lucy is aging, her daughters are struggling and she is still mourning her second husband. She allows William to offer protection. The character has become more and more complex. Her creation of an imaginary nurturing mother, her frustrations, her triumphs, her re-negotiated relationships with her daughters and William all ring true. As usual, other characters--including Olive Kitteridge--make appearances. Lucy finds commonality with people who don't share her beliefs. Great fiction allows understanding, and Lucy by the Sea is a luminous chronicle. It deserves wide readership, and as always, is deceptively ethereal while containing profound depths.

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In full transparency, there has only been one or two books of Strout's that I have not admired. With her latest, it touched me deeply. In an uncanny manner, it felt as if Strout had plunged an elongated arm deep inside my brain and transcribed my thoughts perfectly in her characteristic sparse prose. Her thoughts were my thoughts; her pain, my pain; her grief, my grief; and her loneliness, my loneliness. The book transported me back to a time two years ago at the beginning of the pandemic that I had already buried but was now bubbling to the surface. Some people may find it too soon to confront the feelings that have colored the past two and a half years.For those, wait until you feel ready, but be sure to pick this book up later. Others may feel less alone as Lucy Barton emotes their similar experience.
At the beginning of this novel Lucy was strongly encouraged by her ex-husband and now friend to escape the contagion of Covid that was enveloping NYC. He wanted to save her life and join him in rural Maine. I believe he was honest in his need to keep her safe and alive but on the flip side had selfish reasons for choosing Maine as their new home. Lucy's voice becomes a stream of consciousness as she reacts to her activities of daily living, world events, aging, and family issues.
What makes this so delicious is Strout's special ability to write artlessly and straightforwardly but with contemplative words that feel so relatable. This book truly is a lovely composed and brilliant gem.

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LUCY BY THE SEA by Elizabeth Strout

"It is a gift in this life that we don't know what awaits us."

After finishing this thought-provoking book, I had one question for myself. How in the world was this my first Elizabeth Strout novel?

In 2020, when the world shuts down, Lucy and William depart their Manhattan apartments to a seaside cottage in Maine. The divorced couple rides out the pandemic together, rekindling friendship and compatibility.

Strout writes in an autobiographical, relatable way. Her reflections about love, aging, loss, grown children, and hope might easily be any reader's thoughts. I saw myself time and time again as I lost myself in the beautifully written pages.

Now that I've met the characters in this novel, I plan to pick up Strout's bestseller, OH WILLIAM!, next. And also her Pulitzer Prize-winning OLIVE KITTERIDGE. I have some reading to do!

(I plan to post reviews on sites closer to the book's publication date)

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle ARC. What can I say? I absolutely adore Elizabeth Strout's books about Lucy. Although it was titled "Oh, William," that book was one of my favorites - Lucy's first ex-husband and her interactions and affection for him. Lucy by the Sea follows Lucy and William (her first husband) to the coast of Maine at the very start of the pandemic in 2020. William, a scientist, is convinced he and Lucy must leave NYC due to the dangers of exposure to Covid-19. Lucy is reluctant but also tries to convince her two adult daughters to do the same. While divorced long ago, Lucy and William's relationship is sweet, friendly and affectionate. Lucy's likes and dislikes are very distinct but she is softer character than Ms. Strout's "Olive Kitteredge." I would ready any subsequent novels about Lucy as she is my favorite character that Elizabeth Strout has written.

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The best Lucy Barton book yet!

Taking place at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, the story is very focused on the current events of that time. You;ll need to be ready to relive those early days to enjoy this, but the relationship between Lucy and her ex-husband, William is so worth it.

Plenty of references to Strout's other books, including a prominent role for a Burgess brother, makes this story even more delightful.

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I've never read Elizabeth Strout before, but Lucy by the Sea has made me a convert. I have never been able to describe why I find first-person lacking at times, but Lucy's perspective is a shining example of everything I've wanted in a narrator — a quiet, subdued voice that gives Lucy by the Sea its signature poignant tone and makes the emotional moments hit all the more deeper. And there are so many of these moments: marriage, motherhood, grief, companionship, and the stark vulnerability of that which makes us human, the good and the ugly.

Lucy flees New York City during the onset of the pandemic to that of frigid Maine with her ex-husband, William. Lucy's second husband David has recently died while William's third wife Estelle has left him; many years ago, Lucy, too, left William after having a revenge affair when she discovered her husband had cheated on her for six years. Once, the thought of these affairs greatly distressed Lucy, but now that the both of them are older her thoughts on their failed marriage are more reflective than vengeful.

This reflective voice is the one that carries over most of the novel, looking back first at Lucy's childhood with her older siblings Vicky (now a far-right Republican in a fundamentalist Christian cult) and Pete (who spends his days alone) and her complicated relationship with her mother, and then at her marriage with William and their two daughters Christy and Becka, both of whom also struggle in their respective marriages, and finally her interactions with her new neighbors from Maine, including the friendly Bob Burgess and wife Margaret, and Charlene Bibber, a fellow volunteer at the local food pantry who Lucy determinedly avoids talking politics with.

The contrast between conservative Maine and liberal New York City was one of my favorite dichotomies in the novel. Lucy and William are at first unwelcomed and seen as elitist and snobby by the more conservative Maine residents, while Lucy struggles to understand how someone like Charlene can be a fervent follower of Trump and a vaccine denier. These issues are both close at hand and far away at the same time, and hit close to home regardless. Hiding from the pandemic in her remote cottage by the sea, Lucy at one point looks away from the footage of the violence in the Capitol, too horrified to process it in the collective horror of the pandemic, and she is open with how ashamed of herself for doing so. And in one of my favorite quotes of the novel, Lucy tries to understand the motives behind why people fall into such bigoted views: "What if I had continued to feel [my childhood humiliation so deeply for] my entirely life, what if all the jobs I had taken in my life were not enough to really make a living, what if I felt looked down upon all the time by the wealthier people in this country, who made fun of my religion and my guns... they had been made to feel poorly about themselves, they were looked at with disdain, and they could no longer stand it." And while she doesn't undermine how damaging their racist and anti-Semitic views are, it's certainly food for the thought.

Like the sea, the turbulence of William and Lucy's relationship swells and mellows. Now that both of them are much older, Lucy can appreciate many of the aspects of William she once loved, but there is an uncertainty to William's motives to bringing her to Maine — whether it is because he is lonely for a companion and has no one else, or if he truly loves and needs her. Or maybe it's both. For William, Lucy moves to a cold state when she is already perpetually cold, and spends most of her time with a man that dislikes her negativity and often fails to communicate with her properly, such as when he buys the house in Maine without telling her. At the same time, there are small moments when he brings their daughters to surprise her or when he comes behind her and hugs her just like he did many, many years ago, his arms so tightly around her waist they could meld into one. What is that, if not one kind of love?

I received this novel as an ARC from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read Lucy By the Sea and provide an honest review.

I thought it was "too soon" for me personally to read a book dealing with the pandemic but took a chance with a beloved author, Elizabeth Strout. Turns out, this was exactly the right book at the right time. Strout writes with such sensitivity and fills the pages with quiet, poignant moments. Lucy and William navigated the complexity of lock-down as many of us did; redefining who we are, making difficult choices, and longing for connection. If you are a fan of Eliabeth Strout you will not be disappointed. This was a solid 5 stars for me!

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Thanks so much Random House Publishing and NetGalley.

It's time for the world to go on lockdown as Covid is hitting. William, Lucy's ex husband, comes and gets her from her place in Manhattan to go isolate in Maine.

I thought this was an honest portrayal of the world during the beginning of the pandemic. The unknowns, the fear, life, humility, connections to people - all of this happens as Lucy and William try to figure out what they are, how their family is, and how to interact with the world. I really liked this, although it is at times hard to read as we are still in the pandemic a few years later.

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Lucy Barton, this time in Maine, in lockdown with William due to the pandemic. This is Elizabeth Strout's take on these past few years in which the world has changed. It continues Lucy's path, her relationship with her first husband William, who manages to get her to move to Maine, away from her daughters, her beloved New York City apartment, and her life as she knew it. There have been other writers who have mined this territory, but as we are familiar with these characters, we find them in unfamiliar settings, expanding on their lives. Much reference has been made to earlier events, allowing readers unfamiliar with them to be able to read this on one level, a fuller understanding would be enjoyed by those who have read the earlier installments of Lucy's life.

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Elizabeth Strout does it again with Lucy Barton’s inimitable voice. Following her last novel, we see how she reunites with her former husband William as the pandemic challenges everything they’ve worked for in their family. But it’s more than a Covid novel. We get the local color of Maine as outsiders flood its land and we see the growth of her daughters as they struggle during lockdown and early adulthood. It’s a perfect addition to Lucy’s story.

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I cannot out down this book. Firstly, it is a beautifully written, and visually imaginebale portrait of these past years. Elizabeth Strout powerfully captures so much if what I personally felt and experienced during the early months of the pandemic. She has also powerfully portrayed how this epidemic caused so many of us to re-examine our lives, relationships, possessions and values. A tour de force. Read this!

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Oh…. I ❤️ Lucy
Those who have read the Lucy Barton books, know the history of Lucy and William’s relationship.
In this story, Lucy who is quite recently widowed from her second husband’s death… is ushered away from New York to Maine by her first husband..William to keep her safe at the start of the Covid pandemic.
They go stay at William’s friends vacant house right by the ocean in a secluded area.
They are both now in their 70’s and become quite companionable while they worry about their two adult daughters and other family members, take their solitary walks, have a few “safe distancing” visits outdoors with a couple friends they meet.
Loneliness, loss, and grief about some of their circumstances and the state of the world are themes. Also resilience in navigating tough times!
Another winner for me from a favorite author!

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group-Random House for the ARC!

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