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Every once in awhile, and it has been quite some time now, you find a book that touches every fiber of your being- your very soul.  This book arrived at my door, signed by the author, and with a warning from Ann Patchett herself:

I’m sending this book out with a warning: whatever it is that needs doing, do it now. I’m talking about feeding your family, walking the dog, finishing a project for work.  Don’t start reading My Name Is Lucy Barton before getting those things done. And don’t start it right before you plan to go to sleep either.  You’ll be up half the night.  This is one of those books that grabs you fast and hard, and by the time you’re ten pages in you’re not going to notice the world around you.

I heeded the warning.  I made sure to phone my mother, meal prep, and lay out clothes for the week before driving to our local coffee shop to read the entire thing, in one sitting, without leaving my seat.  Less than two hours after walking into the coffee shop, it was done.  It’s that good!

The novel, which is so beautifully written I could cry, is about Lucy Barton whose mother visits her in the hospital after complications from a minor surgery.  Lucy has a challenging relationship with her parents after growing up in a poverty stricken, neglectful household in the cornfields of Illinois and had not seen her mother in many years.  She describes her childhood by saying,

Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.

The stories they share over several days and the conversations they have, and do not have, are powerful and speak to the very essence of what it means to be human.

This is a story about a mother loving her daughter. Imperfectly. Because we all love imperfectly.

I wanted to write all over this book, underline phrases, write my story in the margins, scribble all over and yet refrained; it is a signed first edition after all.  I simply can’t even tell you more about this, but please get a copy of My Name is Lucy Barton and tell me what you think!

This book fulfills the “book that is published in 2016” category of the 2016 Reading Challenge!

***I own a signed copy of this book!***