The Lucky Ones is a novel about creating and sustaining life during times of great transformation. The five people whose lives converge here are also haunted by family -- the longing for love, the struggle to connect.
A young pregnant mother wrestles with utterly changed circumstances; a new father searches for a sign of the man he used to be; a daughter yearns for a lost childhood; and a mother reaches out in bewilderment to a child she can't fully understand. Accidental connections and overlapping relationships build a complex family portrait: all are linked by the elemental impact of children on adult lives.
This profound evocation of family and its magnetic bonds reveals the mysterious forces that separate us from those we love and bind us to what we no longer understand.
The Lucky Ones will stop you cold with its startling precision and power. Demonstrating a rare gift for illuminating "the bustling concourses of life" without sacrificing emotional depth or complexity, this rare and stunning novel confirms Rachel Cusk's place among our most incisive writers.
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Rachel Cusk is the Whitbread Award–winning author of Saving Agnes, The Temporary, The Country Life, and, most recently, A Life's Work, her memoir about motherhood. She has been selected among Granta magazine's Best British Novelists of the Decade, and lives in Somerset, England.From Publishers Weekly:
Billed as a novel of "overlapping relationships," Whitbread-winner Cusk's evocative latest, with its tenuously connected sections, feels more like a short story collection linked by theme and a few shared characters. Cusk (The Country Life; Saving Agnes) unites her tales via her characters' lonely, isolated conditions and the knotty relationships between parents and children—from Kristy, an imprisoned mother-to-be who gives birth in the back of a squad car in "Confinement," to Mrs. Daley, an unhappy, controlling woman whose need to establish herself as a victim trumps her ability to find or give happiness in "Mrs Daley's Daughter." Cusk's vision of contemporary relationships is a lonely, wintry one, in which people's inner landscapes dominate. This makes for gorgeous, languorous writing in places, but it also restricts the view: the landscapes are so rich with pathos that there isn't always enough room for the range of human emotion so essential to prose that relies on thought instead of action. In "The Sacrifices," a married woman who never had the baby she desired visits her childhood home, now occupied by strangers, and fantasizes about returning to her old room: "I would sit on my bed as the afternoon turned outside the window to night. I would wait for them to call me down." This passivity runs throughout the book, as characters tend toward rumination rather than deed. But as readers come to the end, the lives of Cusk's characters begin to tie together hauntingly. This is not life in all its messy complexity, but a mannered, poignant portrait of the treacheries of domestic life.
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