Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fiction Review: Edgar & Lucy

While on vacation a few weeks ago, I read Edgar & Lucy by Victor Lodato, another book for the upcoming Booktopia event where I will get to talk to the author about his novel. Edgar & Lucy is a unique story about the relationship between a mother and her son, combining family drama with suspense.

Eight-year old Edgar is an unusual boy. Born albino, his stark-white skin and brilliant green eyes make him stand out physically, while his odd behaviors once led the family doctor to suggest autism. Edgar’s father died when he was just a baby, in some sort of accident that adults sometimes whisper about but no one talks about openly. His young mother, Lucy, was devastated by his father’s death, while his grandmother, Florence, responded to the tragic death of her only son by holding her grandson closer.

Florence and Edgar are very close and live in Florence’s house with Lucy, who feels left out by their insular relationship. They have their routines together and accept each other’s eccentricities, while Lucy often lives a separate life, working at a local salon and going out with a string of men. Edgar is curious about the secrets in his history and wants to know more, but neither Lucy nor Florence wants to talk about it. He feels oddly attracted to a mysterious man with his own dark past, and when bullies threaten Edgar, a crisis occurs.

I won’t say anything more about the plot of this novel, except that it takes some very unexpected, twisty paths with elements of suspense, mystery, and a touch of the supernatural. It’s one of those stories that is best discovered page by page by the reader, without spoilers. As the story twists and turns and the tension increases, Edgar and Lucy each yearn for the other while outside forces (and internal self-doubts) keep them apart.

This is an engrossing and fascinating novel, a completely original story that kept me reading compulsively. The characters are all deeply flawed, but their yearnings and insecurities make them both relatable and worthy of empathy. It’s one of those books where you find yourself silently begging the characters to open up and talk to each other, but they each keep their secrets for far too long. Despite its often dark subject matter, there are moments of wonder and wit as well, and the natural world plays a strong role in the novel. I was completely absorbed in this compelling story and its unbearable suspense until the very last pages. I can’t wait to meet the author next week!

544 pages, St. Martin’s Press

Edgar and Lucy
by Victor LodatoHardcover


  1. Replies
    1. It was wonderful, Helen! And even better after meeting the author. He has a background in theater and read to us from the first pages of the book - we all agreed we could have listened to him all day - he made the book really come alive! It's a very compelling novel. Hope you get a chance to read it!