My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
I have probably recommended this before, but it is an excellent example of that mother-daughter bond that never really dies. Lucy Barton spends 9 weeks in the hospital recovering from an infection following an appendectomy. Estranged for many years, Lucy’s mother visits her in the hospital, where they share stories from Lucy’s unhappy childhood growing up in poverty in a small Illinois town. Yes, it sounds depressing, but it is a profoundly moving story. Elizabeth Strout’s new book, Anything is Possible, is also available, and is linked to Lucy Barton by the setting of her hometown, Amgash, Illinois. While you’re at it, you might as well read Strout’s Olive Kitteridge and Abide with Me for examples of less-than-perfect, but very human mothers.