Author: Elizabeth Strout
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
Book Description: Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from—and what they’ve left behind.
“Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William.
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.”
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: I just adore anything that Elizabeth Strout writes. For fans of her infamous character Lucy Barton, we get another novel, told from her point of view about her ex-husband William. This time Lucy is much older in her sixties. We are afforded the opportunity to see into the intimate relationship she has with her ex.
Lucy has recently lost her second husband and William is remarried to a much younger woman with a daughter. In the beginning Lucy and William meet semi-regularly for coffee. However, when his wife, buys him one of those DNA kits he finds out some news that drives them closer together.
Elizabeth Strout always writes very quiet books, however they are just beautiful. It is so nice to see the continued growth of Lucy as a writer, a mother and a friend. I kind of feel Lucy has become a friend just when I needed her.
Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.