“Writers and Lovers” by Lily King is the first book that I read in my Kindle in the past couple of years.
I used to love my Kindle when I was studying at the university – it was light to carry around and perfect to travel with. Once I settled permanently in Canada, I had a dream of having my own paper books library at home so I started getting more printed books. I still love doing that but recently I decided to go back to Kindle mostly because I am often up at night feeding the baby and don’t want to use too much light but I am still up for at least 30 minutes. This time is often the time that I am using for reading.
Anyhow, I don’t quite remember where I stumbled upon the recommendation for “Writers and Lovers” but I decided to give it a try as it seemed interesting from the book description. I have to be honest that I did not get sucked into the store right away but by the end I definitely could not put the book down.
In “Writers and Lovers”, we are following Casey, a 31-year old girl who is working as a waitress and writing her first novel. She used to have lots of writer friends that she lived with but they kind of gave up on writing and got stable jobs but she is still trying to persevere living in debt but trying to stick with what she likes doing. Recently, Casey also lost her mother who she was attached to and is trying to cope with that loss as well. That is for the writing part. For the lovers part, Casey is dating two men at the same time – an older widower and writer Oscar who has two kids and a younger teacher Silas who she is really attached to.
I think the biggest strength of Casey’s character is that she is very relatable. She is flowing with life and trying to do her best and deal with it as it comes persevering with her dream. Her life is tough, and sad, and nostalgic but she still finds fun in the little moments with her friends and in writing her book and lives with humor through her difficult situation. I also liked that the book had a lot of nostalgia in it – I don’t know why exactly but it resonates deeply with me. In the story, Lily King uses the symbol of geese that Casey sees on her way back from work. I think it is quite a strong symbol that she employs – the symbol of nostalgia, of past that is gone but also of future that is to come, an intertwining of past and present in one.
As usual, here are some of my favourite quotes:
“I don’t write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don’t, everything feels even worse”.
“When I was visiting her a few years ago she hugged me and said, ‘Tomorrow after you leave I will stand here at this window and remember that yesterday you were right here with me.’
And now she’s dead and I have that feeling all the time, no matter where I stand”
“I sing to the geese. And I feel her. It’s different from remembering her or yearning for her. I feel her near me. I don’t know if she is the geese or the river of the sky or the moon. I don’t know if she is outside of me or inside of me, but she is here. I feel her love for me. I feel my love reach her. A brief, easy exchange.”
“You don’t realize how much effort you have put into covering things up until you try to dig them out.”
If you are looking for a kind and heartwarming read, I definitely recommend “Writers and Lovers” by Lily King.