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Edgar and Lucy
     

Edgar and Lucy

by Victor Lodato
 

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"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

Edgar and Lucy is a page-turning literary masterpiece—a stunning

Overview

"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

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

"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

"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 Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/30/2017
The sprawling second novel by the author of Mathilda Savitch zooms in on its two title characters to the near-exclusion of everything else. Edgar is eight when the novel opens. Albino and borderline autistic, he’s having a hard time making it in urban New Jersey, and he finds himself tempted to take the protection offered by a mysterious bearded middle-aged man who is often found patrolling his neighborhood in a pickup truck. Edgar’s widowed mother, Lucy, does her best to care for him, but she’s still haunted by her dead husband and chafing under the household rule of her stern Italian mother-in-law, with whom she and Edgar live. The novel has the plot of a much briefer book, and, while some readers may revel in its rich description, others will find it self-indulgent. Secondary characters come across as more quirky than credible, and the introduction of the point of view of a ghostly character disrupts the flow of the narrative. Scenes set in the deserted woods of the New Jersey Pine Barrens have an eerie power, as do flashbacks to the early years of Lucy’s marriage. While the plot is suspenseful enough to keep the pages turning, Lovado blunts the edges of difficult subjects such as suicide and child endangerment, making for an emotionally easier story. 125,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Bill Clegg, the Clegg Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

"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." - 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

"I love this book. At once profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific, Victor Lodato's Edgar and Lucy is an unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity. The surprising prose is a pleasure, and never ceases to remind us how fragile human life is yet how unshakeable the bonds. Edgar and Lucy will have you reading til 4am, then reaching for the closest warm body." – Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl

"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. Edgar’s journey from boy to man is that rare tale that’s both epic and intimate, as joyful and startlingly original in its language as it is a pleasure to read. The tender, funny, living immediacy of its characters and what is revealed to us about human nature through their twists of fate took my breath away. 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

"Edgar and Lucy is a quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder. Victor Lodato writes with lyrical precision and unfailing compassion for his characters." - Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers

"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. Go read it right now." - Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West

"Victor Lodato’s work is complex, elegant, disturbing, beautifully written, and, above all, important. I can say without hesitation that he is a writer who gives me hope for the future of serious literature." - Lynn Freed, author ofThe Servants’ Quarters

Praise for Mathilda Savitch:

A phenomenal debut…Lodato indelibly captures the fragile vulnerability and fearless bravado of adolescence through Mathilda's impeccable voice, one that rages with alienation, frustration, and confusion as much as it aches with hope, wonder, and desire. – Booklist (starred review)

“Compulsively readable…Both mature adolescents and adult readers will find much to love in Lodato’s remarkable creation.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"From page one, the outrageous, pitch-perfect voice of this book grabs you up and won't let go. A bravura Performance." - Mary Kaar, author of The Liars Club

"Engaging and humorous yet grappling with serious issues." – Library Journal (starred review)

Library Journal
★ 12/01/2016
Lucy and her son, Edgar, have lived in New Jersey with her mother-in-law since her husband killed himself. Lucy is not a responsible mother, but Florence takes care of Edgar, a strangely intelligent, hypersensitive eight-year-old. When Florence suddenly dies, things fall apart, and Edgar is rather willingly kidnapped by a mysterious man who has been lurking around the area. He takes Edgar to a remote cabin in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey, while a frantic Lucy and the local police launch an inept missing-person investigation. As months go by, Lucy tries to carry on with her life, while Edgar negotiates his way through the strange new place he has arrived at with his kidnapper, who is now acting like a surrogate father and seems to have some mission for Edgar to fulfill. VERDICT Flirting with danger on many fronts, this second novel from the author of the award-winning Mathilda Savitch is perceptive, compassionate, and humorous, drawing readers into the lives of these quirky yet recognizable and sympathetic characters. [See Prepub Alert, 9/19/16.]—James Coan, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
2016-12-19
The life of a young albino boy in suburban New Jersey is permanently marked by two tragedies, neither of his making.Playwright and novelist Lodato's debut novel (Mathilda Savitch, 2009) was a sublime coming-of-age story about a young girl. In his ambitious but less focused follow-up, the author switches genders to focus on the life-changing events that shape an 8-year-old boy. It's a dark mirror of Lodato's debut, filled with menace and grief that takes no less than seven weighty passages to play out. The child is Edgar Allan Fini, who has "pale skin, white hair, tired eyes a sea-glass shade of green." To his mother, Lucy, an alcoholic hair stylist, he's "her funny little albino fruitcake." But as Lodato starts building out Lucy and Edgar's world with meticulous detail, he's also lacing the tale with ill intent. First there is the matter of Frank Fini, Edgar's manic-depressive father, who committed suicide by plunging his car off a cliff, nearly taking Lucy with him. There's Edgar's grandmother Florence, who wields such influence over the boy that she continues to muse over his fate even after her death. We have the butcher with whom Lucy is sleeping, who accidentally severs Edgar's finger. Lucy herself is still shattered by Frank's death, to the degree that she tells her lover "please don't be happy" when she finds herself pregnant. It's a dark tale told in stolen moments and silent reflections, and it gets darker as time passes. The final half of the book depicts the strange relationship between Edgar and a man named Conrad who committed a terrible trespass against his own son. These characters hurtle toward a climax that begins to defy plausibility—the author ties things up with a jarring change in voice at the end—but readers who make it that far are apt to be enraptured already. A domestic fable about grief and redemption likely to leave readers emotionally threadbare.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250096982
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/07/2017
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
22,759
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.70(d)

Meet the Author

VICTOR LODATO is a playwright and the author of the novel Mathilda Savitch, winner of the PEN Center USA Award for fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Victor was born and raised in New Jersey and currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona.

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