Book Review of Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

320 pages

Published: 3/3/20 by Grove Press

ISBN: 9780802148537

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Amazon | B&N

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.


Triggers: The death of a loved one, grieving, harassment.

“I have a pact with myself not to think about money in the morning.”

Wow, this book definitely took me by surprise. I almost put it down, but I opted for the audiobook instead. I don’t know if it made the writing come alive, but I couldn’t stop listening to it. I ended up loving Casey as a main character. She’s such a strong woman who is chewed up and spit out by life. She loses her mother, her best friend. Grieving the loss of a parent has to be the hardest thing to do in life. I can’t imagine.

I thought the side characters were also pretty interesting. Oscar one of the guys she talks to has two kids, and I loved how much Casey cared for them. She wanted what was best for them, and Oscar honestly made me question how well he took care of them. He also tried to push Casey into thinking golf was the route she should take. I remember him mentioning that if you have the talent, then you should put it to use. Stupid. I hated him, long story short.

Silas. Oh, Silas. He had been through loss before, and I think that helped him connect with Casey. He understood more of what Casey was feeling. I wanted more of Silas, but we definitely got more of Oscar, unfortunately. Although, I’m happy with the ending. It may have wrapped up too nicely, but I thought it was refreshing to see Casey get some relief, some closure.

A book in the library said that some Canada geese may travel as far as Jalisco, Mexico. My mother will like that, the long exhilarating trip, the foreign landing. But others, the book said, will stay where they are for the winter. Those geese are already home.

Overall, I would recommend the book if you can handle a character study. It’s very raw and emotional. I didn’t really care for the beginning, but I would definitely go back into in with a different perspective now that I completed it. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, certainly with the writing style if not anything else. It’s an acquired taste. I had to get used to it. There are a lot of nice quotes from this one. I just thought it was a well-rounded novel.

Lily King grew up in Massachusetts and received her B.A. in English Literature from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She has taught English and Creative Writing at several universities and high schools in this country and abroad. Lily’s new novel, Euphoria, was released in June 2014. It has drawn significant acclaim so far, being named an Amazon Book of the Month, on the Indie Next List, and hitting numerous summer reading lists from The Boston Globe to O Magazine and USA Today. Reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, Emily Eakin called Euphoria, “a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace.”


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