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Writers & Lovers

By: Lily King
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Summary

Casey has ended up back in Massachusetts after a devastating love affair. Her mother has just died, and she is knocked sideways by grief and loneliness, moving between the restaurant where she waitresses for the Harvard elite and the rented shed she calls home. Her one constant is the novel she has been writing for six years, but at 31 she is in debt and directionless, and feels too old to be that way - it’s strange, not be the youngest kind of adult anymore.  

And then, one evening, she meets Silas. He is kind, handsome, interested. But only a few weeks later, Oscar walks into her restaurant, his two boys in tow. He is older, grieving the loss of his wife, and wrapped up in his own creativity. Suddenly Casey finds herself at the point of a love triangle, torn between two very different relationships that promise two very different futures.

Lily King's Writers & Lovers follows Casey in the last days of a long youth, a time when everything - her family, her work, her relationships - comes to a crisis. Hugely moving and impossibly funny, it is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. It is a novel about love and creativity, and ultimately it captures the moment when a woman becomes an artist.

©2020 Lily King (P)2020 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic reviews

"Exuberant and affirming, it's funny and immensely clever, emotionally rare and strong. I feel bereft now I've finished." (Tessa Hadley)

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  • Overall
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Lyrical, illogical, illuminating

I loved this book! It’s like a tall drink of water after a long day walking through a very hot, barren cultural desert (think Palm Springs). The main character is silly, often ridiculous and so very very sorry for herself. The anguish and pain she goes through feel like self flagellation and that’s pretty much what we’re all doing every day of our lives. Beautiful. Buy it. Now.

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I Positively loved this!

I positively loved this book as much as I felt aligned to Casey! To be 31 and feel so behind where you want to be in life in all aspects is no kind place to find oneself. Lily King depicts each situation Casey finds her self encountering with more than just a sense of ...’I’ve been there reader’ but puts you right in her character shoes. I personally feel akin to Casey Peabody and hope this book brings the joy and reassurance to other creatives who have it in them to succeed. I loved this, and will be looking through King’s back catalogue for more of her exquisite writing. Writers and lovers ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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Wonderful book!

First time I’ve read this author and was pleasantly surprised. Blown away in fact. Highly recommend.

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Beautiful

This book has a small world, is beautifully written and moved me emotionally in many places. You won’t regret buying it.

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Lovely story with more depth than expected

When it started, I was worried it was just going to be chicklit - but it rose far above this, with themes of bereavement and mental health. The protagonist is charming and relatable. A couple of uncomfortable attempts at accents, but otherwise well read!

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A positive novel for strugglers

I haven't read a novel by the successful American novelist Lily King before. This is her most recent novel since the death of her mother some years ago during which time she has struggled to complete another book. No surprise that Casey in Books and Lovers rings true. Casey's beloved mother has recently unexpectedly died and the visceral and paralysing grief gripping 31-year old Casey is a main theme in the book. Anyone who has been bereaved will recognise what is going on Casey's ravaged mind and body and I think would find some comfort in this novel. But grief is only a part. Casey HAS to write - not, as she says, because she's got anything significant to say, but because it's worse if she doesn't. She's really a mess: living in a potting shed; juggling huge debts and health insurance running out; finding a lump in her breast; being bossed around working as a waitress; and starting and ending unsatisfactory relationships with other aspiring writers. One self-filled 'writer' seems a possible, but he has written eleven and a half pages of his novel in 3 years and Casey is afraid that might be contagious. And then there's Oscar, a successful writer with a looming dead wife and 2 little boys Casey makes a touching bond with; and there's Silas who's hugely attractive but keeps going off when depression takes him. This all sounds quite heavy, but there's plenty of self-deprecating humour and some very sharp observations. We certainly know every dimension of every cell of Casey, her failures, her crushing fears and panics - she's completely real and complete, contrasting with the cast of other shadowy figures. I really enjoyed all the references to books and writers Casey thinks, reads and talks about and which have driven her as she's struggled with her novel for six years. Anyone who has tried and tried to get their work published will identify with her. The book ends (quite rightly) not with happy ever after, but with hope as clouds lift. "All my bees had turned to honey." she says. The narration is, like the writing, very strongly American and also accomplished.