Friday, May 14, 2021

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Lovers & Writers by Lily King

I loved Writers & Lovers! It expresses the struggles and joys of a writer, as well as the turmoil and wonder in relationships – both with lovers and mothers. It also has moments that reveal the crap women deal with, the things men get away with or refuse to hold each other accountable for. I ended loving both the main character as well as Lily King by the time I finished.

Casey is a young writer struggling to complete her novel. Anyone who's set pen to paper will relate to reaching a point in the process where you can't judge your own work, you're too close, you've read over it too many times and you can't stand it anymore. Do you submit it or light it on fire? The eternal question, the lingering fear. 

The romances were relatable as well; in the men she was drawn to there was often something missing, or hidden, or off. He makes your pulse race, but he also seems as though he could vanish in the mist and you'll never hear from him again. Another ticks some boxes, but little warning signs set off a discordant clang in your head. Who do you pick? What risks do you take? 

There's something clever in the title as well, as least the way I read this book (and my take could easily be miles off what the author intended). The lovers of the title aren't just lovers, it seemed they were mothers, too, who had massive impacts on their children's lives, who left holes when they departed. At least I think that's the message, but hell, I could be wrong. In any event, the title could've been Writers & Lovers & Mothers (if that weren't so cumbersome!).

Now for a few quotes to offer a taste of the writing you'll find in these pages:
"I don’t write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don’t, everything feels even worse."

"It’s a particular kind of pleasure, of intimacy, loving a book with someone." 

On Casey printing her novel to submit to publishers and the feelings it elicited:
"I can’t bear to look at any of the words as they come out of the machine. I don’t know what it says. I don’t know what the book is about. I see the name Clara and my stomach sinks. Did I really name a main character Clara?" 

On the guy you can't ignore:
"We hold hands on the way back, but it feels like we’re still kissing. My whole body responds to his hand in mine."

This book was a sweet surprise, picked up on a whim after a recommendation on Twitter. I've been a bit swept up and spun around and behind on everything lately, so I'm sure I'm not giving this book the dazzling review it deserves, but I can say it made me want to read more by this author. I want to return to reread this one again someday, too. 

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