Lucy by the Sea: A Novel (Hardcover)

Lucy by the Sea: A Novel By Elizabeth Strout Cover Image

Lucy by the Sea: A Novel (Hardcover)

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October 2022 Indie Next List


“I’ve read quite a few pandemic books in the last year, but this one stands out. Strout has produced a meditation on memory as much as a character study as Lucy, William, and their neighbors grapple with the pandemic and political divides.”
— Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of My Name is Lucy Barton and Olive Kitteridge comes a “poised and moving” (Vogue) novel about a divorced couple stuck together during lockdown—and the love, loss, despair, and hope that animate us even as the world seems to be falling apart.

“Strout’s understanding of the human condition is capacious.”—NPR

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Oprah Daily, Entertainment Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Time, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, PopSugar, She Reads


With her trademark spare, crystalline prose—a voice infused with “intimate, fragile, desperate humanness” (The Washington Post)—Elizabeth Strout turns her exquisitely tuned eye to the inner workings of the human heart, following the indomitable heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton through the early days of the pandemic.

As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea.

Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this story are the deep human connections that unite us even when we’re apart—the pain of a beloved daughter’s suffering, the emptiness that comes from the death of a loved one, the promise of a new friendship, and the comfort of an old, enduring love.

Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize
Elizabeth Strout is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lucy by the Sea; Oh William!; Olive, Again; Anything Is Possible, winner of the Story Prize; My Name Is Lucy Barton; The Burgess Boys; Olive Kitteridge, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593446065
ISBN-10: 0593446062
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Pages: 304
Language: English
“No novelist working today has [Elizabeth] Strout’s extraordinary capacity for radical empathy, for seeing the essence of people beyond reductive categories, for uniting us without sentimentality. I didn’t just love Lucy by the Sea; I needed it. May droves of readers come to feel enlarged, comforted, and genuinely uplifted by Lucy’s story.”The Boston Globe

“Heartwarming as well as somber . . . Although simple on the surface, Strout’s new novel manages, like her others, to encompass love and friendship, joy and anxiety, grief and grievances, loneliness and shame—and a troubling sense of growing unrest and division in America. . . . Strout’s understanding of the human condition is capacious.”—NPR

“Rendered in Strout’s graceful, deceptively light prose . . . Lucy’s done the hard work of transformation. May we do the same.” The New York Times Book Review

“Like all of Strout’s novels, Lucy by the Sea has an anecdotal surface that belies a firm underlying structure. It is meant to feel like life—random, surprising, occasionally lit with flashes of larger meaning—but it is art.”The New Yorker

“The novel inhabits an emotionally rich terrain, where past failures shine light on future possibilities, where strength comes from vulnerability and where chance challenges choices. . . . Strout is a natural and generous writer, letting feeling and intuition lead her craft.”—Associated Press

“Deeply moving and quietly funny.”The New York Times (100 Notable Books of 2022)

“Strout fans will delight in the appearance of beloved characters from previous novels, including Olive Kitteridge and Isabelle . . . as they struggle and hope—together but in isolation.”The Washington Post (50 Notable Works of Fiction)

“Through her empathetic hand, Strout reveals what was lost in this turbulent time, but also—via her discoveries about marriage, family, and love—what Lucy gained.”Time

“Poised and moving . . . It is only in the steady hands of Strout, whose prose has an uncanny, plainspoken elegance, that you will want to relive those early months of wiping down groceries and social isolation. . . . This is a slim, beautifully controlled book that bursts with emotion.”Vogue

“The Pulitzer Prize–winning Portland author reprises her Lucy Barton character to convert the grimmest period in our recent past into something triumphant and hopeful.”Portland Press Herald

“A quietly profound book about grief and loss—oh, so much loss!—but also kindness, generosity and resilience.”Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Strout excels at distilling complex human emotions—fear of failure, regret that we never measured up— into something familiar and understandable.”BookTrib

“Strout follows up Oh William! with a captivating entry in the Lucy Barton series. . . . What emerges is a prime testament to the characters’ resilience. With Lucy Barton, Strout continues to draw from a deep well.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)