The Pulitzer Prize-winning, Booker-longlisted, bestselling author returns to her beloved heroine Lucy Barton in a luminous novel about love, loss, and the family secrets that can erupt and bewilder us at any point in life
Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a tender, complex, decades-long partnership.
Oh William! captures the joy and sorrow of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that alter everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, against all odds. At the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the mystery of existence. 'This is the way of life,' Lucy says. 'The many things we do not know until it is too late.'
'Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favourite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement' Ann Patchett
'A superbly gifted storyteller and a craftswoman in a league of her own' Hilary Mantel
'A terrific writer' Zadie Smith
'She gets better with each book' Maggie O'Farrell
'A majestic book. I do not know any other writer who can portray life in this way' Rachel Joyce
'One of America's finest writers' Sunday Times
'An absolute delight of a book' Claire Fuller
'A wonderful book' Emma Healey
Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement
A superbly gifted storyteller and a craftswoman in a league of her own
A terrific writer
She gets better with each book
One of America's finest writers
An absolute delight of a book
A wonderful book. It is so clever, the way it's built up in little layers of discovery, and how every tiny thing discovered makes the story truer and more painful
I do not know any other writer who can portray life in this way. With such breadth and complexity, such an awareness of the light and the shadow, and in such sublimely clear and simple brushstrokes. Even though the issues that Strout looks at in Oh William! are those many of us know - the growing up of our children, the family secrets that we carry sometimes without knowing what they are, the growing older of love, and just that very simple and most basic question about who we are and what we for - she shines a light on them that is luminous and ultimately forgiving. A majestic book.
Anything is Possible author Elizabeth Strout on writing about the tougher side of life in small town America, and why these stories are so important