#20BooksOfSummer #BookReview Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman #DucksNewburyport

And now to BOOK 20!!! YAY ME!!!!  This years challenge has been an absolute blast to take part in and I’m really glad I chose to do  my own twist on it with the LITTLE and LARGE element – even if I didn’t stick totally to the original list!!  It made for some fun discoveries of books I’d not normally have considered and gave me a really big push to pick up those chunksters of books that often get left behind! Thanks as always to Cathy at 746 Books for hosting such a wonderful challenge…. roll on 2020!!

And what a book to finish off with!!  At 998 pages long I think it probably could have counted for the last 5 books of my total! With it being so big it took me much longer to read as I had to keep putting it down to digest the goings on (so.many.words!!!) but the challenge kept me coming back for more!!

Latticing one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of ‘happy couples’, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how to hatch an abandoned wood pigeon egg. Is there some trick to surviving survivalists? School shootings? Medical debts? Franks ‘n’ beans? A scorching indictment of America’s barbarity, past and present, and a lament for the way we are sleepwalking into environmental disaster, Ducks, Newburyport is a heresy, a wonder – and a revolution in the novel.



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Extraordinary! That’s the simplest way I can think of to describe my time with this book! And at 998 pages long it’s not going to be one of those books you race through – not that you’d want to!

I think the author has achieved an amazing thing with this book – once you get your head round the style in which it is written, the lack of chapters/pauses…. the places you normally get to catch your breath! I found myself having to stop every now and then to take in what I’d read and then come back to it later as all those words took their toll!

It’s a book of information overload – the thoughts of a mother in America and how they take over your mind. How you think of one thing and a million other things race into your head – well, they’re all written down here so you’re left in no doubt as to how she views the world around her, the beauty, the brutality, the inane, the injustices, the horror, the humour – and everything in between. I’d find myself laughing loudly one minute at a thought she’d have, and then close to tears the next as she’d recollect events from the news or her past.

It’s often very bleak and full on but that reflects perfectly the world we live in now – it’s 24/7 and there is no escape. We’re bombarded with thoughts, news and how do we process it all? It plays on our minds constantly, building up fear, resentment, anger…..

Cleverly mixed in with the story is a side tale of a Lioness taking care of her cubs and this was beautifully written and observed, and brilliantly worked into the world created.

It all builds so ingeniously and I slowed down my pace even more reading the final few pages so that I could spend just a little bit more time in the head of this woman. This isn’t going to be for everyone because of the length of the book and the writing style, but I’m very happy to have experienced this clever and stunning book.

Heartbreaking, Humorous, Emotional and Endearing….. genius!!