Wednesday 19 August 2020

Book Review: Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Writers & Lovers by Lily King book cover

AD* | 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, mouldy 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 fulfil her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers is an introspective look at the life of a woman desperately clinging onto the last remnants of her youth. It is heartbreaking, truthful, hopeful, and poignant in equal measures, yet the novel also offers a strong message - never give up on your dreams. 

At times, this contemporary novel feels almost like a biography of the author. It focuses on the ups and downs of daily life, from the most mundane everyday conversations to significant, life-changing events. The novel moves with an almost fluid pace, effortlessly shifting from one moment to the next and joining together all the fragmented parts of Casey's life. Writers & Lovers is quite slow to pick up the pace initially, but once you delve into the book and become more familiar with the characters, this is no longer an issue and the natural rhythm of the story starts to sweep you away.

Casey herself is flawed and damaged, yet she is stronger than she thinks. Despite everything, she refuses to give up on her dream and is determined to make something of her life regardless of the situation she finds herself in. It may seem dark, but her dreams are the light at the end of the dark tunnel. 

The story is realistic and relatable - it is all too easy to imagine yourself walking in Casey's shoes. When things go wrong, you find yourself rooting for Casey and willing her to overcome the hurdles standing in her way. While she is certainly far from perfect, there is a particular kind of beauty about characters like Casey which really helps to bring the story to life. 

Bittersweet and unflinchingly honest, Writers & Lovers is certainly a remarkable novel. 

Rating: 4 stars

Writers & Lovers is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading Writers & Lovers? Let me know in the comments below!

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