Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Unsurprisingly, being a writer, the title of Writers & Lovers by Lily King caught my attention. It isn’t published until May 2020, which is a shame because I can’t quote from the proof copy, and there are so many brilliant lines I would like to reference.

Writers & Lovers is set in Boston, one of my favourite cities. It’s nice to read about a city you know, picturing the streets and squares, the grassy common, and the river that you have walked along.

The story follows Casey, a 31-year old woman who is suffocating under the grief of losing her mother unexpectedly. She is lost in the world. There’s her poor choices in men; and working all hours to pay off her crippling student debt. She’s been writing a novel for six years and now can’t finish it. Plus she may have endometriosis, and there’s a worrying looking mole on her skin.

This novel is a deep dive into Casey’s mind, as she copes with the day to day. As much as the action might seem slightly mundane – sleep, eat, work, repeat – it draws you in. When she meets two very different men, her reactions and instincts around each of them start to draw her out of her slump, and bring her back to herself.

It’s hard to explain exactly why I loved Writers & Lovers so much. It may be as simple as it being a very good, rich drama of losing and finding direction in life. The writing tackles big, life-changing moments alongside small, subtle observations – little things like saying goodbye to a friend… then talking to them for another half-hour and having to hug them goodbye all over again. It’s small moments like this that I see reflected in myself, and it’s often the small things that bond a reader to a book.