BookBrowse Reviews Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato

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Edgar and Lucy

by Victor Lodato

Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato X
Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2017, 544 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2018, 544 pages

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About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A story of disappointment and grief, courage and loss, and of the resilience of humans to overcome and triumph.

28 of our 33 Bookbrowse First Impression reviewers rated Edgar and Lucy four or five stars, giving the book an overall rating of 4.4.

What it's about:

Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato is a wonderful book about love, loss, and reconciliation. Edgar is an eight-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother Florence and his mother Lucy. Florence, who was the nurturing woman in Edgar's life, dies unexpectedly and Edgar and Lucy must learn to love and care for each other in a whole new way. This is a book about growing up and the many ways people change through the hardships and challenges of life (Vicki R). This tale of a little boy navigating life in the face of profound sorrow and dangerous choices is engaging and gripping. Told from the perspectives of several different characters readers are able to see all sides of Edgar and Lucy's story and root for them to find themselves and each other (Kenan R). This is a story of disappointment and grief, courage and loss, and of the resilience of humans and the ability to overcome and triumph. It illustrates just how strong and irrepressible children are and how they survive to become adults despite the misguided people around them (Marilyn J).

The book was acclaimed by many of our readers:

I would shout from the rooftops exclaiming my adoration for this novel. I could tell from the very first page that this was one that I was going to savor and enjoy (Lani S). This coming-of-age novel (and not just Edgar's coming-of-age) is one of the best I've read recently and at the last word, I sighed, wishing it would go on (Marilyn J). This book is a puzzle for me in that it is not the type of book I usually enjoy. It is a dark story, full of unhappy people, but the more I read, the more I wanted to read it. (Dorinne D). Edgar and Lucy will be in my mind and heart for a very long time, and on my bookshelf to revisit and read again (Jan B).

Reviewers who enjoyed the book commented on the well-developed characters:

The novel is filled with a cast of characters that we come to know and hold in our hearts (Beth B). They were intricate and well-rounded, intriguing and gripping, and they were why I didn't put it down until I was finished. The relationships between them were fascinating and complex (Marilyn J). Though they are all flawed we are shown that for the most part they have good hearts and good intentions (Barbara G). The author does a great job of dealing with how all people deal with sadness, grief and love in different ways. You are actually in the minds of the different main characters which makes the book especially clear on their feelings and thoughts (Donna N). This is a long epic, but it engaged me, probably because each of the characters was treated with gentleness and kindness by the author. I thought I had a bird's eye view of everyone's inner life. (Rosemary C).

Several mentioned Edgar in particular:

Lodato has created a child with such wonder, imagination, humor and pathos that I wanted to grab him and hold him tightly to my chest (Lani S). Edgar is both innocent and wise yet angry and curious (Patricia L). His feelings and thoughts were so intriguing I started making notes and highlighting different passages to go back to and think about again (Jan B). Edgar's interior dialogue added depth to the story. I'm impressed with the way the author gets into Edgar's head and shows us his point of view (Elizabeth K).

Many reviewers were also impressed with the author's writing style:

The best part about the book was the writing! It is ethereal; here and there imagining and describing feelings and viewpoints with phrases that are almost magical - you get wisps of the ideas from the words. Beautiful. (Molly B). This is not just a great American novel, it is a great human novel. This is the finest writing I've read in a very long time. Victor Lodato deserves every literary accolade available for this one (Janet W). The language is so gorgeous that I found myself re-reading whole paragraphs just to enjoy it again (Carol F).

However, the novel's pacing in particular seemed to be an issue for several readers, although opinions differed:

Please don't follow the 50 page rule on this book. It is slow to start but I found it very interesting after about page 40. There were many things around the corner that I didn't expect (Carolyn V). By the end I loved this book, but the first third was pretty tough to slog through. If you're having trouble, keep with it -- it's worth the wait! (Jane H). The only weakness I found was the last sections dragged on too long (Doris K). My one slight disappointment was in the last few chapters which I thought were rushed and made me feel bereft of the fullness of the novel (Lani S).

Those who disliked it completely seemed unable to categorize the work:

I just could not connect to the story or the characters. It's not a coming of age book, it's not a fantasy book, not a science fiction book: I think the author does not even know what kind of book he wanted to write (Catherine H).  Fantasy? Sci-fi? What is it? At 250 pages I gave up trying to connect and/or care about any of the characters. I skipped to about page 400 to see if the book made any more sense. Not to me. Dark and strange. (Judith G).

But for the most part, Edgar and Lucy left reviewers eager for more:

It is a lengthy story but I found myself not wanting it to end and as the end drew near, I started rationing out the pages. Even knowing I had a review to post I stretched it out (Jan B). I would actually reread this book and that is something I have only done perhaps 2-3 times in 60 years of reading avidly (Vicki C). I will definitely look for Lodato's other works. (Molly B). I plan to read anything else this author writes -- his work is definitely worth reading if you like literary fiction. (Elizabeth K).

Our reviewers recommend Edgar and Lucy for book group discussion and to those who enjoy literary fiction:

Edgar and Lucy is a deeply moving book and one that I highly recommend for anyone. It would be an especially good book for book clubs as there are so many potential areas of discussion. (Vicki C). The book presents multiple views of deep topics such as death, grief, depression, love, loss, family and abduction. (Kay D). I was fascinated by this book and can visualize an in-depth discussion by book club members (Doris K). This book has everything for the reader of tales: Off kilter characters; family drama; multiple viewpoints; and beautiful readable language. Highly recommended (Maggie R). If you enjoy character-driven stories illustrated with luminous prose, you will enjoy Edgar and Lucy. (Elizabeth K).

This review was originally published in April 2017, and has been updated for the February 2018 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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