Book Review

Writers and Lovers – Lily King

When was the last time you came to the end of a book and found tears forming at the corners of your eyes and wanted to start reading it all over again? Written with humor, heart, and intelligence, this book examines a young female protagonist, writer Casey Peabody, making her way through the world as best she can, dealing with grief, love, and career in heartfelt and touching ways as she grapples with the direction her life should take.

The “plot” of this novel is thin – we meet Casey working a dead-end restaurant job, deeply in debt, very close to being evicted, attempting to finish a novel she’s been working on for six years. She is torn between two men, both or neither of which may be right for her and is also mourning the death of her beloved mother a year before. A slice-of-life story with no car chases, no kidnappings, no long-buried secrets, or stunning reveals. And yet by the time I got to the end, Casey was someone I wanted to keep close, to read more about her, to watch the rest of her life unfold. The last time I had a similar feeling about a fictional character was Olive Ketteridge. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is a gem. Lily King is my new hero. I liked and admired Euphoria. But I LOVED Writers & Lovers.  I predict we’ll see it on many of 2020 “best of” lists.

A favorite passage: “I try to stay and feel the moment and my understanding of it expands.  Small unexpected things begin to thrum across the whole book.  I feel like a conductor, finally able to hear all the instruments at once.”