A fast read in that sense, and not a breezy read. Haunting is the word I'd use to describe Lucy's account of her life and relationship with her mother. Lucy grew up the youngest of three children when they were next to homeless: living in the garage of a relative.
There are many haunting images in the story and the one that sticks out is while Lucy is in the hospital for six weeks trying to recover from an undiagnosed illness, she's on a gurney in a hallway outside of a room that has yellow tape on the door - indicating a patient with AIDs. As Lucy looks into the room she can see a gaunt man looking at her and he does not look away.
Ms. Strout has written a novel(la) that does not look away from pain and suffering. It's hard to look. It's easy to turn away. This message seems crucial in our divisive times as we all look to be heard, and seen, and to belong.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars on the Kindle app ... I can see that if the reader were in a certain mood Lucy might seem sappy-ish. I was in the mood to be moved and it was a well-timed read for me.
my source: big Elizabeth Strout fan - especially after hearing her at FF&W some years back. Also love her Olive Kitteridge and Amy and Isabelle.
my verdict: good to great read