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.”
William is on a quest to find his long lost sister. He had no idea she existed and now he is determined to find her. William is a character we all know. He is a father, an unfaithful husband and a son who has been lied to. How he has handled all of this has not been great. He is human and he has made some mistakes. When he brings his ex wife, Lucy, along with him to Maine, it opens ups some old wounds along with some new ones!
William is someone in which half the time I want to hug and protect and the other half I want to pinch and say “watch your mouth!” Then there is Lucy. She has made mistakes in her life and she is learning to live with her decisions. Even though they have been divorced for quite a while and are now friends, these two still have lots of baggage.
No one does dysfunction like Elizabeth Strout. She takes the reader on a tour of therapy. She makes you, as a reader, examine your own life. Sometimes you are the victim and sometimes you are the aggressor. The first time I read a novel by this author, I was not a fan! However, I saved that novel and some of the underlined passages. And I have always come back for more! So, there is something about this author which makes such a huge impression. And this novel about William is one that opens your eyes to many issues between husbands, wives, children and mothers.
Need an emotional read you will not soon forget…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.