BKMT READING GUIDES
Edgar and Lucy: A Novel
by Victor Lodato
Hardcover : 544 pages
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"On every page Lodato's prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit, making Edgar & Lucy a delight to read...Lodato keeps us in his thrall because his grip on the tiller stays reassuringly firm. Not to mention the supporting cast he's gathered, a group so eclectic and beguiling that many ...
"On every page Lodato's prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit, making Edgar & Lucy a delight to read...Lodato keeps us in his thrall because his grip on the tiller stays reassuringly firm. Not to mention the supporting cast he's gathered, a group so eclectic and beguiling that many of them could carry an entire novel of their own. A riveting and exuberant ride." - Cynthia D'Aprix-Sweeney, The New York Times Book Review
"Wonder-filled and magisterial...Lodato's skill as a poet manifests itself on every page, delighting with such elegant similes and incisive descriptions…His skill as a playwright shines in every piece of dialogue…And his skill as a fiction writer displays itself in his virtuoso command of point of view. The book pushes the boundaries of beauty." - Chicago Tribune
"Edgar isn't like other boys and Lucy isn't like other moms, but grandma Florence keeps them tied to reality. And then their lives take a sharp turn...This otherworldly tale will haunt you." - People Magazine
"A stunningly rendered novel" - Entertainment Weekly
"A quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder." ? Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers
Edgar and Lucy is a page-turning literary masterpiece?a stunning examination of family love and betrayal.
Eight-year-old Edgar Fini remembers nothing of the accident people still whisper about. He only knows that his father is gone, his mother has a limp, and his grandmother believes in ghosts. When Edgar meets a man with his own tragic story, the boy begins a journey into a secret wilderness where nothing is clear?not even the line between the living and the dead. In order to save her son, Lucy has no choice but to confront the demons of her past.
Profound, shocking, and beautiful, Edgar and Lucy is a thrilling adventure and the unlikeliest of love stories.
"This tale gradually exerts a fiendish grip on the reader." ? Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
"I tore through the luminous pages of Edgar and Lucy as if possessed…What this book has to say about love and truth will stay with me for a very, very long time." ? Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates
"I love this book. Profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific...an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity." ? Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl
"Victor Lodato may be our bard of the sadness, humor, and confusion of loss. He senses the absurdities and elation of mourning and childhood with a capacious precision that brings to mind J.D. Salinger, Lorrie Moore, Karen Russell, even James Joyce. Edgar and Lucy will make you feel things you haven't felt in ages." ? Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West
Editorial ReviewNo editorial review at this time.
Chanel Nº 5
Having a life meant having a story. Even at eight, Edgar knew this.
What he didn’t know was his own beginning. Newborn brains were mushy. If you wanted to know how your life had started, you had to get this information from other people.
But what if these people were liars?
“I kept falling asleep,” said Lucy. She was speaking of Edgar’s birth. The boy liked this particular story, and so he made sure to roll his head in feigned boredom. “Even with all the pain, I was, like—” Lucy opened her mouth and made a stupendous snore sound worthy of a cartoon character. “It was nearly three in the morning when you decided to show your face.” ... view entire excerpt...
Discussion Questions1. The author considers this book “a love story.” Would you agree? If so, what are the various love stories represented? How would you define each of them? As triumphs or tragedies?
2. Look at the epigraphs throughout the book. Read them again and discuss how they relate to that particular part of the novel.
3. Think about Edgar’s relationships with the two women in his life. Does his extremely close bond to his grandmother Florence seem healthy, or problematic? As for Lucy: What do you think of her as a mother? Is she doing the best she can? Do you feel differently about her by the end of the book?
4. Think about the element of grief in this book. How does it affect the characters’ lives? How does it affect their decisions—and, ultimately, their fates?
5. Consider Edgar’s relationship with Conrad. What did you think, at first? Did your feelings change by the end of the book?
6. The author has referred to this book as “a New Jersey gothic.” Would you agree? If so, discuss the gothic elements in the novel. For instance: Do the characters have a complicated relationship to the past? Is there a sense of the past as a malignant influence? Do you think the dilapidated Fini house at 21 Cressida Drive or the cabin in the Pine Barrens could serve as updated version of the haunted or ruined castle of gothic literature?
7. Think about Lucy and Frank’s romance. Why do you think they were so drawn to each other? What is your opinion of Frank? What is his illness, exactly?
8. How do you think the moments of comedy add to the storytelling?
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