Review From User :
This is an introspective, intimate story of a woman coming into her own, a struggling writer, struggling to figure out her life. We meet Casey Peabody in 1997 in Cambridge, MA. She's a mess, grieving the loss of her mother, burdened financially with over $70,000 in student loans and other debt, working as a waitress and living in a rented, mold smelling shed. She's been struggling for six years to write a novel. Her romantic life is unsteady, reeling from a breakup and now unsure of which of the two the men in her life she should be with.
I had anxiety reading this! Nothing was going right for this woman. She even faces some medical issues, yet no matter what, she remains determined and true to herself. There is just something so genuine and likable about her. Her pompous landlord asks how her writing is coming and says,"I just find it extraordinary that you think you have something to say." I found his comment to be extraordinary and not in a good way. Who with an iota of empathy would say such a thing A big jerk! She doesn't respond but as narrator she tells the reader , " I don't write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don't, everything feels even worse." That says so much about the artistic drive, or need or yearning.
A writer writing about a writer - can't help but wonder how much is autobiographical. I can't help but think that Lily King knows intimately about why Casey writes, why she is determined in spite of everything. The writing is impeccable. I felt the grief and the sadness and the uncertainty of Casey's feelings about her romantic interests. I'm not a writer or an artist in any way, but King allowed me get a glimpse of that creative need. I was rooting for Casey all the way. I can't say I expected the ending. I really wasn't sure how it would end,but I know that I loved it.
(I'm embarrassed to say that this is my first Lily King book. Embarrassed because my Goodreads friend Candi gifted me a copy of Euphoria as part of a book exchange a few years ago and I still have not read it! It's been on my nightstand for too long. I enjoyed King's writing so much here, I really need to get to it. Promise, Candi,)
I received a copy of this book from Grove Press through Edelweiss.
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.
Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey–a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist–in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.