When I was 31, I was working full-time, married and a mother of two rambunctious boys. As opposed to Writers & Lovers’ protagonist, Casey, who is single, living in a potting shed, waiting tables and writing a book.
The pandemic nester in me is intrigued by the potting shed. (Hmmm .. what could I do with a shed? Stop it — you don’t have a yard. But maybe I can build a cold frame for my deck? Cherry tomatoes into the fall? Seedlings in the spring?)
Lily King’s Writers & Lovers was a welcome respite from what feels like has been an exceptionally heavy year in fiction — and that’s saying something, considering Casey is broke, her mother has just died suddenly, her boyfriends keep dumping her and compared to her friends, she is feeling like a complete failure.
Working through her grief and crippling anxiety, Casey finds herself unexpectedly in the midst of a love triangle, juggling a potential relationship with another aspiring writer, Silas, and an accomplished writer, Oscar.
The differences between the two — age, station in life, commitment to the relationship — are evident. And there are pros and cons coloring both options. But for either of them to work, Casey first has to get her collective shit together.
So, I loved this. As mentioned above, it, believe it or not, was much lighter than some of this year’s earlier reads. A love story featuring flawed but lovable characters was just what I needed. I especially loved the David Byrne cameo that came on the heels of watching his “American Utopia” film this past weekend. In these days ahead of the election, it was refreshing to ponder whether Casey would end up with Oscar or Silas, if she’d finish her book, if she’d escape her insurmountable financial debt or even just come to some sense of peace over her estranged relationship with her father (this, actually being the relationship that evoked the strongest response from me …. Grrrr ….)
I had never read Lily King before and am a fan. Have it? Read it. Or at least get it on your TBR list. In the end, it’s sweet, sentimental and a quick read on top of everything else. (I’m staring down several doorstop books and honestly just hoping I pick one that keeps me from doomscrolling on Twitter for the next two weeks.)