Oh William! By Elizabeth Strout

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Oh William!

Elizabeth Strout

October 19, 2021

Random House

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Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are.

So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout’s “perfect attunement to the human condition.” There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together—even after we’ve grown apart.

At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”

My Review:

I binged read the other books in this series so that I could be caught up in order to read this book since I received a copy on NetGalley. While I enjoyed the other books in the series and hearing how Lucy Barton grew up and where she came from, I unfortunately just felt “meh” about this book. I didn’t really enjoy Lucy or William throughout this entire book.

Lucy and William go on a road trip together to find William’s sister. On the trip they’re reminiscing about their failed marriage, memories and the good and the bad times they’ve shared. They also take a lot of subtle jabs at each other. Throughout the book I just kept thinking “Wow William really is just insufferable in all his marriages?” Then Lucy would also be really self absorbed in situations and it would also be cringeworthy.

Overall the book was EXTREMELY well written and I will absolutely read more books by this author I just don’t think I was the target audience for this book. Again, there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with it, I just didn’t really like either of the main characters in this book despite liking Lucy in the previous books.

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