About the Book:
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.
Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey–a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist–in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
I am always wary of reading books that have tons of buzz around them. But i knew from the first paragraph that this book was something special. If you are in a reading funk, this one is guaranteed to bring you out. It is totally addictive and unforgettable! This book goes on my Best of 2020 list.
I was immediately captivated by the story of Casey, a writer struggling to make ends meet while working as a waitress. Her mother has just passed away and Casey is hiding from student loan creditors while slaving away at a local Boston restaurant. From the amount of detail, it seems to me that Lily King must have waitressed at some point in her life. Physically exhausting work, to be sure.
Casey is smart and funny but at this point in her life thinks that maybe she should get a “real” job and give up on her novel. No one has read it and she is literally almost penniless. King’s writing is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the descriptions of other writers – they can be a catty bunch, according to Ms. King! Don’t be put off by the themes of grief in this book. Ultimately the story is very uplifting and completely captivating.
“My mother will be worrying about me, and I can’t tell her I’m okay.”
Casey finds herself being pursued by two very eligible men. Oscar is a well-known and successful writer with two young, adorable boys. Silas is also a writer, less successful but still gainfully employed as a teacher. The unfolding of these relationships is glorious and while not explicitly detailed, is enough to push this extraordinary book in to the romance genre for me. Casey is suddenly faced with two men pursuing her but she can’t seem to get out of her own head.
“But I can’t go out with a guy who’s written eleven and half pages in three years. That kind of thing is contagious.”
The entire cast of characters, from the restaurant to Casey’s family, are all memorable and realistic. I loved the glimpse into the inner world of writers and the insecurity and jealousies that come with the territory. I was completely moved by Casey’s journey and highly recommend this delightful book! An absolute must-read!
“It’s a particular kind of pleasure, of intimacy, loving a book with someone.”
(Thank you to the publisher for proving a review copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)