Book review: Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato | Culture | The Sunday TimesRate this book. Eight-year-old Edgar Fini's loyalty is torn between the two women in his life. There's his mother, Lucy, who, though she has moments where she loves him, mostly disappears at night with her various "suitors. Since his father's suicide, Florence and Edgar's relationship has become obsessive, each fully dependent on the other. When Florence suddenly dies, Lucy is thrown into the role of main caretaker and doesn't know how to handle her new job. But as Edgar and Lucy adjust, they must also deal with Ron, a local butcher who wants to court Lucy, and Conrad, an unsettlingly attentive adult whose intentions are at one more sinister and more innocent than Edgar could ever know. After Conrad separates Edgar from his mother, the man and the boy form a home life of two, isolated deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, an arrangement that is not at all one-sided, even as Lucy, their hometown, and as time goes on, a wider world hunts for the boy.
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Victor Lodato on 'Edgar and Lucy,' a Novel Ten Years in the Making
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Placing a young child at the center of a narrative is a tricky move. Children are, well, childish, full of faulty observations and unreliable conclusions. A novel requires some kind of trouble, and watching a child navigate peril is harder on the heart than observing adult woes. It can feel facile, this ostensible shortcut to empathy, and requires a certain authority to prevent the whole enterprise from tipping into implausibility or soppy sentimentality. But this is familiar territory for Lodato, who is also a playwright and a poet.
Recent offerings by Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Safran Foer and Hanya Yanagihara, for instance, are all heavy on the word count, with finely crafted sentences stacking up in a bid for greatness. The novel is divided into seven books and explores loss, mental illness, ghosts, death, family love and even the nature of time through the prism of a small and damaged New…. Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access. Already a member? Log in. Already a subscriber or registered access user? Subscription Notification.