Sequestered in a New York hospital bed, Lucy Barton's protracted stay is relieved by the unexpected arrival of her estranged mother. The five days she spends at the bedside encourage Lucy to reflect on her impoverished childhood in rural Illinois, and her adult life as a wife and mother and aspiring writer.
Understated and poignant, this contemplative story, narrated by Lucy, examines the legacy of childhood and its impact on adult life as well as simply and tenderly revealing the complex relationship between a mother and a daughter. [Larger font]
All agreed it was a good read.
Not a great read for many, but some really enjoyed the style of writing despite some confusion with the plot.
We were all gripped and moved by the writing which was beautiful, and the issues of life which it dealt with . Unforgettable.
Group members were surprised at review as they didn't really enjoy the book. Didn't enjoy the formal writing style.
Mixed reaction - some enjoyed it and found it an easy read. Others had a different take and would not read her books again. Good discussion.
One member couldn't get into the book. The rest of us read it twice. We all had bits we related to.
Mixed reviews for this book - one member loved it - another did not read it as it was unappealing. The rest plodded through, read, and quite enjoyed it.
We all found this book to be an enjoyable read - not a page turner, more of a meander through Lucy Barton's past. We enjoyed discussion about how people break free from abusive/disadvantaged backgrounds, and the lingering effects that remain.
"Deceptively simple" was the phrase agreed by all who read this slim volume. Simple prose, not very long, but containing many thought-provoking observations and ideas.
Not enjoyed by most of the group, members scores ranging from 2 to 4. We discussed familial relationships, inefficiency in communicating with others. The book-notes were comprehensive.
The group was divided on this one. Most loved it and will look for more by this author; some said they want to own it to reread. The people who loved it enjoyed that their reading was slowed down as so much was understated. Two of the members struggled with it, one being annoyed by the characters, the other prefers lighter fiction. It prompted some great discussions about mother-daughter relationships.
This is a winner (!) on so many levels. We all enjoyed it immensely.
Most of us liked this book but two ladies loved it. Quite a childish or easy writing style with a lot left to the reader to imagine what was 'between the lines' or left out. Easy to read because of the small chapters. Good discussion about families - one of the ladies is going to try and read her other books. We wondered if the story was actually about the author herself. I personally would say I enjoyed it but wouldn't particularly remember it in time to come.
A mixed reaction to the book. Some really liked the writing style, and others found it annoying. Most related to the content.
Everyone liked the book. Easy to read but also thought-provoking. A lot of the meaning was in what wasn't written. There was a feeling of having read a similar story. The book dealt with a lot of issues, and life growing up in poverty. The story was told simply but offered great depth.
There was a very mixed reaction to the book in our group. Some members felt that too much was left open and up to the reader's imagination, whereas others felt this was the book's strength - not to reveal everything. We couldn't give it a rating because it ranged between 2 and 5. Despite the differences or perhaps because of them, we had a great discussion.
This beautifully written book was fascinatingly enigmatic. It's also tailor-made for provoking and thoughtful discussion.
We all loved this book - the writing is so restrained and so clever!!
Amazing writing - a book on two levels. So much is said "without words"; so much detail on a deeper level. Great discussion.
We had a good discussion on this book with regard to family relationships, and how complex they can be.
All group members liked the style of writing by this author. Many of us reflected on our own relationships with mothers(!), and with family in general. We were a bit divided as to whether it was a 'sad' book or not.
Some us thought this book a wonderful novel in its writing and the insights into Lucy's life and the effects of a deprived childhood. Others found the novel depressing, maybe too literary for their tastes. Even so, we had an excellent discussion about Lucy and her mother, and took issue with the comments in the notes that she was a horrible person. We saw the mother as more damaged by her childhood (so subtly conveyed by just one comment about not sleeping, but catnapping sitting up) than Lucy was by hers.