A New York Times Book Review’s Group Text Selection
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with another instant New York Times bestseller: 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.
An Amazon Best Book of March 2020: At 31, Casey is still holding onto her dream of being a novelist. Most of her artist friends have given up their artist dreams for more practical, and lucrative, endeavors; but Casey writes and makes ends meet by waitressing and walking her landlord’s dog. Writers & Lovers is Lily King’s follow up to her 2014 breakthrough novel Euphoria, which was loosely based on the experiences of Margaret Mead, and one might expect King to tread a similar path in this new book. But this is a different novel altogether. That said, it’s a very enjoyable read, a breath of fresh air, with characters that leap off the page. Writers & Lovers is about the uncertainty of dating, and of pursuing the creative life, in a world that values success and stability. Life does not wait for Casey to fulfill her dream, if that dream even comes. So she works and she dates, and she tries to figure it out as she goes. Love and art require daily, often imperceptible, leaps of faith—and this book captures that perfectly. —Chris Schluep, the Amazon Book Review