Author: Lynn Steger Strong
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Book Description: Grappling with motherhood, economic anxiety, rage, and the limits of language, Want is a fiercely personal novel that vibrates with anger, insight, and love.
Elizabeth is tired. Years after coming to New York to try to build a life, she has found herself with two kids, a husband, two jobs, a PhD—and now they’re filing for bankruptcy. As she tries to balance her dream and the impossibility of striving toward it while her work and home lives feel poised to fall apart, she wakes at ungodly hours to run miles by the icy river, struggling to quiet her thoughts.
When she reaches out to Sasha, her long-lost childhood friend, it feels almost harmless—one of those innocuous ruptures that exist online, in texts. But her timing is uncanny. Sasha is facing a crisis, too, and perhaps after years apart, their shared moments of crux can bring them back into each other’s lives.
In Want, Lynn Steger Strong explores the subtle violences enacted on a certain type of woman when she dares to want things—and all the various violences in which she implicates herself as she tries to survive.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: This novel comes in at 224 pages but boy does this book pack a punch. Elizabeth is our narrator, she is 34, married with two daughters. She has a PhD but unhappy in her career. On top of this, she is filing for bankruptcy with her husband and they are just trying to make ends meat.
This is an extremely introspective novel. Her relationships with family and with old and new friends are at the forefront off this storytelling. What I loved so much about this the author gives you her inner monologue along with what she actually says throughout the book.
Elizabeth felt extremely real. I think we all will relate to her. She is a decent teacher, good wife and mother, but just does not feel fulfilled. Everything she does feel for not and I think that is OK.
The writing is sparse and lovely throughout and I just wanted to hold Elizabeth and say I understand. You will be able to read this in a couple of hrs, but it will stay with you a long time.
Thank you NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.