Writers & Lovers by Lily King

‘I have a pact with myself not to think about money in the morning.’

Casey (Camila) Peabody is thirty-one years old.  Her mother has died suddenly, she is estranged from her father, she is struggling under a burden of debt.  She is living in a shed, her mail consists of wedding invitations and demands from debt collectors.  Casey is working as a waitress in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and trying to finish the novel she has been working on for the past six years.

‘I don’t write because I think I have something to say.  I write because if I don’t, everything feels even worse.’

Casey’s life becomes more complicated.  Two quite different men enter her life: she falls for both.  Casey also has health issues to address.  Casey is drowning in debt, uncertain about her writing, mourning her mother.  She cannot stay where she is, but she is not sure how to take the next step.

This is an introspective story, filled with conflict between despair and possibility, anxiety and hope.  Casey is filled with self-doubt, unable to move at times.  Is her novel any good?  Can she complete it?  Which of the two men she’s fallen for would she be happiest with?

‘You don’t realize how much effort you’ve put into covering things up until you try to dig them out.’

The novel finishes, but the story continues in my imagination. Ms King succeeded in breathing life into Casey and making me care about her. I am wondering what the future might hold for Casey. 

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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