Instaread Summary of My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Five out of five stars
This summary is thorough and it seems clear that it was written by someone with a deep background in literary analysis. It opens with a lengthy summary of the book, the setting is the last half of the twentieth century. The first clue as to the timeframe is when we are told that Lucy meets her future husband when she goes to college and he is the son of a German POW from World War II.
The main plot device is that Lucy grew up extremely poor and had to deal with social stigmas because of it. She was a bright girl that loved to read, so she was able to go to college and become a writer. Lucy never had a good relationship with either of her parents, they expressed no pride in her success or any affection towards her. Despite her upbringing, or maybe because of it, Lucy never develops any real desire to acquire money.
The summary is followed by a list of the main characters, summaries of the two main characters of Lucy and her mother and descriptions of the key relationships in the life of Lucy. This is followed by a list of the main themes of poverty, money, love, loneliness and isolation, the judgement Lucy faces and how she judges others, the making of an artist and the darkness of bad memories.
This summary is so good that it is easy to envision students that are required to read the book reading this instead and being able to get by with it.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.