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  • Published: 12 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241607008
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $22.99

Lucy by the Sea

From the Pulitzer prize-winning author of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON

In March 2020 Lucy's ex-husband William pleads with her to leave New York and escape to a coastal house he has rented in Maine. Lucy reluctantly agrees, leaving the washing-up in the sink, expecting to be back in a week or two. Weeks turn into months, and it's just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the sea.

Rich with empathy and a searing clarity, Lucy by the Sea evokes the fragility and uncertainty of the recent past, as well as the possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire. At the heart of this miraculous novel are the deep human connections that sustain us, even as the world seems to be falling apart.

  • Published: 12 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241607008
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $22.99

Other books in the series

About the author

Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller, Abide With Me and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize. She lives in New York City and Portland, Maine.

Also by Elizabeth Strout

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Praise for Lucy by the Sea

Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favourite writers

Ann Patchett

I cannot get Lucy Barton out of my head

The Times

A superbly gifted storyteller and a craftswoman in a league of her own

Hilary Mantel

[Strout] has that rare ability to immerse readers in the world of her characters . . . moments of quiet revelation - infidelities, or glimpses into the indignities of incontinence and cancer - feel poignant and real, but also unsentimental. It is a compassionate, life-affirming read, and a much-needed balm for these trying times

Straits Times

Lucy by the Sea holds a mirror up to everything we have been through recently. Not only reflecting disbelief, isolation and how different and at the same time similar we are to each other, but also what happens to human relationships when we can't be together. Superb

Claire Fuller, author of Unsettled Ground

An unflinching depiction of the ways we are all alone . . . Strout's most distinctive skill - the ability to render every character, big or small, with precision - is on full display . . . Lucy finds love in the novel, but Strout never looks away from the loneliness that is inherent in being human: "We all live with people - and places - and things that we have given great weight to. But we are all weightless in the end."

Sarah Collins, Prospect

Strout captures the minutiae of recent years with insight and compassion

iNews, 40 Best Books to Read This Autumn

You would be forgiven for avoiding any pandemic-set novels for the rest of the decade, but it's worth making an exception for Elizabeth Strout's Lucy By The Sea

Vogue, Best New Books for Autumn

Stunningly universal . . . with brilliant acuity, Strout has seized on the parallels between Lucy Barton's pervasive sense of alienation and the way the recent global crisis has exposed the helplessness felt by ordinary people everywhere

Daily Telegraph, 5 stars

Strout's portrait of a divorced couple united by worry for their two grown daughters illuminates a refreshingly unexplored angle of Covid . . . They leap off the page along with their creator's salty wit and a phantom scent of hand sanitizer

New York Times

Lucy By the Sea is another Barton installment that confronts the deep and familiar tangles of intimate relationships . . . Through this complex and isolating time, Lucy plumbs the nuances of human connection


Poised and moving . . . It is only in the steady hands of Strout, whose prose has an uncanny, plainspoken elegance, that you will want to relive those early months of wiping down groceries and social isolation . . . This is a slim, beautifully controlled book that bursts with emotion


It's no secret that Elizabeth Strout is a stunning writer, but I still find myself amazed at the depth she brings to the world of her stories centered on Lucy Barton

Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Week

After giving a beloved secondary character from her 2016 bestseller I Am Lucy Barton his own standalone with last year's Oh William!, Strout returns to the source, packing her recently widowed heroine off to Maine from Manhattan during lockdown - and exploring, in her clean inimitable prose, no less than love, loneliness, and what it means to be alive

Entertainment Weekly

There is an insistent generosity in Strout's books, and a restraint that obscures the complexity of their construction

Washington Post

Heartwarming as well as somber . . . Strout's new novel manages, like her others, to encompass love and friendship, joy and anxiety, grief and grievances, loneliness and shame - and a troubling sense of growing unrest and division in America . . . Strout's understanding of the human condition is capacious


Strout writes in a conversational voice, evoking those early weeks and months of the pandemic with immediacy and candor. These halting rhythms resonate . . . Rendered in Strout's graceful, deceptively light prose

New York Times Book Review

[Strout's] novels, intricately and painstakingly crafted, overlap and intertwine to create an instantly recognizable fictional landscape . . . you don't so much read a Strout novel as inhabit it


Discover more

A useful guide to reading Elizabeth Strout’s Lucy Barton books

Learn about Elizabeth Strout's Lucy Barton books in honour of her Booker prize longlist nomination for Oh William! Learn more about the series and the order in which we recommend reading the four books.