Writers & Lovers by Lily King


I was more interested in the Writers than the Lovers, but I do love an ampersand. I was dismayed to see the audiobook had classified this as Women’s Fiction on its cover. What in the world is that? Is there Men’s Fiction? Can a man not enjoy a novel with a female protagonist?

Lily King uses her own experience as a writer to vividly evoke a young writer’s experience. The book is set in the 90’s, in Massachusetts, where 31-year-old Casey Peabody works as a server in a high-end restaurant in order to survive while writing her first novel. Oh, does she endure some mansplaining (that’s for you, Barbara). Beyond the struggles of a writer as a young woman, this is a book about people dealing with loss–something our protagonist has in common with quite a few other characters.

Because I was at one time in the restaurant industry, though not in operations, I enjoyed the shop-talk. Hadn’t heard that in a while. Other particular pieces of pleasure for me were King’s ekphrastic prose during Casey’s date at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts & Casey’s scenes with children. Really fine writing there. (Yes to the No Tears baby shampoo, which has no changed since forever & the pleasure of lathering up a little head of hair.

This is a good summer read. My only reservation is the speed with which it wraps up, but that is something I often say about books.

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