In her fifth novel, Strout, whose Olive Kitteridge won a Pulitzer Prize, brings us young Lucy Barton lying in a hospital bed in view of the Chrysler Building for nearly nine weeks in the 1980s. She is in a “very strange state – a literally feverish waiting” as she heals from an infection after an appendectomy. She misses her husband and two young daughters. Her mother comes to visit, and tells her stories she had never heard before about their friends and neighbours back in Amgash Illinois. Lucy is a writer, counselled by a city friend to be ‘ruthless’ and encouraged by a workshop leader who tells her not to ‘protect’ anyone while writing. As her mother and father die and her husband disappears, she comes more clearly into herself. Lucy Barton is yet another indelible Strout creation.