Oh, how I loved this book! It is Strout's third venture into the word of Lucy Barton. Beginning with My Name is Lucy Barton, Strout moved on to Anything is Possible, a book of short stories featuring characters introduced in the first book, plus more about Lucy. This new novel, set decades later, is about Lucy's first husband William, their relationship, and Lucy's reflections on life itself.
Elizabeth Strout has long been one of my favorite authors and, with each novel she writes, I am reminded of all the reasons why. I am struck time and again by her insights into the human condition. Oh William! is a quiet, character-driven novel filled with simple but profound statements about life and what it means to be human.
This was a read/listen combination for me. Once again, my library came through with both the ebook and audiobook at the same time. The audio is brilliantly performed by Kimberly Farr and is 7 hours long. (I listened at a slightly faster speed.)
The novel could work as a stand-alone, but I think the experience is richer if you already know and understand Lucy. I didn't remember much about William from previous books, but that didn't seem to matter. I got to know him well here.
My daughter recently attended an in-person literary event with Elizabeth Strout in NYC. She told the fully-vaccinated, masked crowd that she has her next two novels planned. The first is even nearing completion, but she gave no hints as to the subject matter. I think this is wonderful news and am already looking forward to another Strout novel.