- File Size: 1478 KB
- Print Length: 322 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press (March 3, 2020)
- Publication Date: March 3, 2020
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B082VLS8LB
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,610 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$27.00|
|Print List Price:||$27.00|
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Writers & Lovers: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 322 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"This deep dive of a novel will stay with me forever."-- "Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author"
[Lily's] payoff-heavy fifth novel."-- "Shelf Awareness"
"While never minimizing the seriousness of Casey's personal problems, the book is also funny and romantic and hard to put down, full of well-observed details of restaurant culture and writer's workshops. It's hard to imagine a reader who wouldn't root for Casey."-- "Library Journal (starred review)"
"Gorgeous!"-- "Elizabeth Strout, #1 New York Times bestselling author"
"Elegant, droll...The nimble, astute narration appeals. This meditation on the passing of youth is touching and ruefully funny."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"If you loved The Friend but wish it had had more sex and waitressing, get ready for Lily King's Writers and Lovers. Delicious."-- "Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author"
[A] charmingly written coming of age story."-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
"My favorite of Lily King's books so far. Exuberant and affirming, it's funny and immensely clever, emotionally rare and strong. I feel bereft now I've finished."-- "Tessa Hadley, author of Late in the Day" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
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It took me a while to get into, but I did find myself invested in it. I wanted Casey to get her life together and have her dreams come true. Now that she is in her thirties, most of her friends have given up on their creative passions and pursued more "normal" careers and lives. Along the way, Casey writes and falls in and out of love with other writers and struggles to deal with the grief of losing her mother suddenly. So, it felt like a book for an audience of writers and other creative artists.
I feel like this one quote from the book sums up the whole book itself: "It's really a book about art and becoming an artist and all the ways it ruins people, actually."
Casey aka Camila, lives near Boston, commutes to her waitress job in Boston on her banana bike. She has friends, a jerk for a landlord and her book. She tries not to think too much about her top three worries, her mother’s recent death, her huge student loans, and the man she met this summer, a married poet who swept her off her feet. While she is involved in the grief she feels from her mother’s death, she is trying to live, to be kind and care about others, without her need to hide all the feelings. Everything around her feels the cynicism, that is the way to make it through the day.
This novel by Lily King is fresh, vibrant, the characters leap off the page. In this day of digital devices, it is refreshing to have a young woman finding her way with every mistake she makes, but holding onto her dreams. She wants love, a family, but her grief and her uncertainty are holding her back. Casey has two lovers, a promise of a better job, and must make decisions. She is aware of her peccadilloes, and, in this way she is learning her craft. Her writing carries her, and her friends and her work reinforce this need. She has to write she says not because she thinks she has something to say. She writes because when she doesn’t everything feels worse. This is not nothing.
Recommended. prisrob 03-03-2020
King’s Storytelling – I’ve seen some call it uneven, but I didn’t see that. From start to finish I was captivated by Casey’s story and fully immersed in Lily King’s gorgeous writing.
Grief – In the story, Casey (already estranged from her father) has recently lost her mother and King’s exploration of her grief resonated throughout the story. She made me ache for Casey’s loss.
“I might still be capable of feeling happy. She will want to know that. But I can’t tell her. That’s the wall I always slam into on a good morning like this. My mother will be worrying about me, and I can’t tell her I’m okay.”
“During the day I miss the novel. I’ve lost access to a world where my mother is a little girl reading in a window or twirling in fast circles on the street, her braids raised high off her back. Outside of that novel she is dead. There seems no end to the procession of things that make my mother feel more dead.”
“I’m in the mood to call my mother, that happy shift in the wind mood. I calculate the time in Phoenix. Nearly noon. Perfect. The bolt retracts, and I remember she died.“
The Writing Process – I enjoyed getting to know a character that had been completely consumed by the creative process for years. To her own financial and personal detriment, Casey could not let go. I also appreciated how self-aware Casey was, constantly questioning herself and where her life was going, yet through it all, she kept at it.
Relationships – In the past, Casey has been involved with men who were never quite right for her. As Writer’s & Lovers unfolds she meets two very different men, both writers like herself, each adding a layer of confusion to her life.
“It’s a particular kind of pleasure, of intimacy, loving a book with someone.”
Cast of Characters – I thoroughly enjoyed the entire group of characters that moved in and out of Casey’s life and I especially enjoyed those at the restaurant where she worked.
The Ending – Casey’s crisis point and its resolution worked for me. I even got a little teary at the end.
From start to finish, I delighted living in Casey’s world, watching the evolution of a young writer on the brink of change. Obviously, I highly recommend Writers & Lovers.
Note: I received a copy of this book from Grove Press (via NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review.
Top international reviews
There's something cold about Writers & Lovers, slight and insubstantial. The writing is occasionally quite good, with some amusingly sparky dialogue, but the novel never takes off, the characters a mere watercolor shadow of what they could be. At no point during the novel did I find myself caring what happened to Casey or indeed to any other characters apart from Harry and the two young boys, who were written with the charm that the others lacked.
I really wanted to love this book, and I really was excited when it finally came out - I've been waiting a long time for Lily King's next book - so I admit my expectations were high. Unfortunately, they were ultimately disappointed.