Writers & Lovers: Tender story of love and loss

Book review: Lily King’s latest book is about grief and the tenacity to persist in the pursuit of an artistic vision

Lily King: Writers & Lovers is her best book yet.

Lily King: Writers & Lovers is her best book yet.

In Lily King’s portrait of the artist as a young woman, Casey is a 31-year-old aspiring author living in late-1990s Massachusetts. She waits tables at an upscale restaurant to pay the bills, which include payments on a crippling $73,000 of debt. “I have a pact with myself not to think about money in the morning,” the book opens. “I’m like a teenager trying not to think about sex.”

Money isn’t the only thing Casey has to push out of her mind to work on her manuscript. She is grieving her mother, who died suddenly while on holiday with friends. She is also tending to a broken heart after the end of an affair with a poet she met at an artists’ residency shortly after her mother’s death: “In the morning I ache for my mother. But late at night it is Luke I mourn for.”

The Irish Times
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