I’m a sucker for books about books or writers. As someone who loves reading, I enjoy connecting with characters who share that hobby. When I saw an ARC of Writers and Lovers available for review on NetGalley, I simply had to have a copy.
Writers and Lovers follows Casey, a struggling 30-something drowning in debt and grief from the passing of her mother, all-the-while trying to write her novel and navigate love.
Though I found Writers and Lovers initially slow to start, and somewhat difficult to get into, I found it picked up when I hit the half-way mark. However, due to this slow start, I did have to rush read it before my NetGalley copy expired.
None-the-less, today I have my top five reasons why you should read Writers and Lovers by Lily King.
1. Casey is a fully realised and incredibly relatable character
It’s almost painful just how relatable Casey, Writers and Lovers’ main character, is. At the beginning of the novel, Casey is 30-something single woman, working as a waitress and living in a less than ideal place as she tries to finish her novel.
Wracked by grief at the loss of her late-mother, Casey is in a less than enviable place in her life. Because of King’s wonderful writing (see point 2), Casey’s struggles are made incredibly relatable and almost painful for the reader. She, and everything about this book simply feels real.
2. Writers and Lovers is incredibly well written
For a book to hit as hard as Writers and Lovers, and for a character to be as relatable as Casey, the story must be delivered correctly. This is something that King really manages to do incredibly well. The writing style manages to be beautiful while mostly simple and straightforward.
As I mentioned before, I did find the pacing of the book to begin with, but I think this may have simply been the time I needed to get used to the writing style. I'm not one who reads a lot of slow-paced books, however, once I was accustomed to the pacing, I found myself appreciating the style more and more as the story progressed.
3. It feels real, almost shockingly so
As I mentioned in point one, Casey felt incredibly real in Writers and Lovers. It’s hard not to wonder how much of this book is autobiographical or at least heavily influenced by King’s own life as a writer.
Writers and Lovers is a deep and thoughtful book. It touches on many topics that have plagued and still do plague writers and artists (well, probably most people) for years, one that really resonated with me was (of course), 'am I wasting my life?' It was great to connect to the book like that.
Coupled with King’s writing, as mentioned above, Writers and Lovers hit on a whole new level.
4. One of the best stories about writers that I’ve read
Something you'll hear a lot of people say when giving writing advice is to never write about a writer writing. This is simply because it can be a hard thing to pull off well. Lily King manages it though, and seemingly effortlessly too. When a book about an author is done well, as Writers and Lovers is, it's one of my favourite things to read about.
Of all the books I've read about writers, or even readers, Writers and Lovers has to be one of the deepest, most true depictions of the artist's life. There's no sugar-coating it, the artist's life is hard and frustrating, and yet I think King manages to capture why so many feel they simply have to do it. If you're intrigued as to what the life of a writer is like, Writers and Lover is the book for you.
5. Great if you love slow reads
As I've mentioned before, I did find this book slow. For me, it's not the best thing in the world, however, if you're a fan of slower-paced books, this one is definitely for you. I think one of the reasons I did find it slow is the lack of pressing plot. This is more a snapshot into Casey's life. Of course, there's a romance plot in which Casey must choose between two men, which does add tension, but it wasn't what I focused on while reading the novel.
If a slower, yet deep and meaningful snapshot into the life of a writer is what you're looking to read, look no further than Writers and Lovers. You're in for a treat.
Thanks so much to Pan Mcmillan and NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy.
Writers and Lovers
by Lily King
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