Oh, William! by Elizabeth Strout

Strout again, inhabits Lucy Barton, from her former book, I Am Lucy Barton, who in turn inhabits Strout: Barton is a writer who is haunted by her childhood and feels “invisible” even as she publishes and succeeds. Whether this is Strout’s story, I do not know, but it may be universal among writers: We feel unseen so we seek authority. Strout writes this novel without an abundance of the artifice of realist novels. Strout/Barton doesn’t show she tells and tells fully, of her marriages, her affairs, her children, her life as a child and a writer. In this weaving through time and memory, her novel, is in some ways, a more realistic rendering of the way we think and love. The exclamation that is the title is often repeated. The exclamation point, at first seems a short-cut but with repetition it becomes profound: I love William emphatically, and always will.

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