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Writers & Lovers by Lily King
Literary fiction

Writers & Lovers

by Lily King

Quick take

From the author of Euphoria, an intimate introspective of an aspiring writer who's tangled in love with two men.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Cerebral


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Millenial


Why I love it

Jenna Bush Hager
Co-host, TODAY with Hoda & Jenna

How long should you hold onto dreams that just won’t become realities? Can you really have a great love and a fulfilling career? In Lily King’s new novel, we meet our protagonist, Casey Peabody, at a moment in life when she must face her future head-on—and finally answer these questions.

After the unexpected death of her beloved mother, Casey moves back to her college stomping grounds in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She’s an unpublished writer, barely making ends meet in her waitressing job—admittedly not where she wanted to be in her early thirties. As if that all wasn’t enough, she also finds herself struggling romantically as she ends up in a love triangle between a writing professor and his student. Which partner, if either, will encourage her to find her voice as a partner and a writer?

Casey is smart and driven, and despite her tremendous grief and feelings of inadequacy, she never stops trying to discover who she is. In the end, though I won’t tell you how, it isn’t the men in her life that lift her up but her self-confidence that makes a difference. It’s been a whole year since I started picking books for my Read With Jenna book club, and I think this one is particularly special. I hope you will read with us in March and fall in love with Casey Peabody just like I did.

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Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Writers & Lovers.

Member thoughts

All (8619)
All (8619)
Love (4138)
Like (3583)
Dislike (898)
8755 ratings
  • 47% Love
  • 41% Like
  • 10% Dislike
  • Nashville, TN

    Perfect summer read. A little bit of romance? ✔️ A little bit of mysterious intrigue? ✔️ A little bit of real-life relativity of growing into your own person and figuring out your path? ✔️ Recommend.

  • Lawrenceville, GA

    This book should absolutely be a “must read” for millenials! The transition to “grown up” isn’t an easy one for anybody. We all meet our challenges and Casey is doing a pretty good job of navigating.

  • Corinth, NY

    I’m not exactly sure what made me love this book so much, as it’s not super heavy on plot-but it is heavy on character development & man, I felt like I could feel the main character, Casey in my bones

  • Philadelphia , PA

    I loved the author’s writing style. My favorite parts were when she wrote about the restaurant. I think the best thing about this book is that it covers so many topics without being a book about “x”

  • Roswell, GA

    I expect this will end up in my top favorites of 2020. I couldnt have loved this book any more than I do! Beautiful exploration of grief. Stunning story of rising up after hitting rock bottom. Loved♥️

  • Joliet, IL

    King perfectly captures the existential crisis that is life in your 20’s/30’s. Casey could be any of us, & I found myself sad for her missteps & rooting for her dream. Equalparts hopeful/heartbreaking

  • College Station, TX

    I feel this novel in my bones! Although Casey’s not in the best headspace, King’s prose is so uplifting, meticulous and real. A great reminder that a coming of age can occur during any phase of life.

  • Westfield, IN

    King’s writing style is simple. Her inner dialogues are nuanced. Ultimately a romantic who disguises herself as blasé, she navigates her grief, both chartered and unchartered, as she finishes her book

  • Nashville, TN

    I was totally endeared to Casey by the end of this book. She’s got the classic “everything is going wrong and I can’t even complain” life happening here - totally relatable for this 30-something!

  • Freehold , NJ

    I started reading and couldn’t stop. I love Casey, I’m friends with many Caseys, I am Casey. I rooted for her and her feminism. It’s well written and well observed. I am so glad I picked this one.

  • Radnor, OH

    I loved this book so much I forced it into conversations! You’ll fall in love with an aspiring author who is still trying to figure out life and growing up. I felt connected to many of the characters.

  • Sacramento , CA

    Writers & Lovers is about that in between time when life changes and you are expected to be an adult. I could relate to Casey’s search for her place in the world and the heartbreak of losing a parent.

  • Yakima, WA

    I love Lily King’s style of writing. She has a way of drawing you into the story..I really feel the emotions of the characters, and see the places they are. If you liked this one, check out Euphoria

  • Dallas, TX

    Often, I get dragged down with the narrator in this type of story. That was not the case here - King did a marvelous job balancing the protagonist’s challenging situation with beautiful, light moments

  • Katy , TX

    Writer & Lovers is a book full of people who are so real they jump off the page. The struggles with grief,love,& purpose are delicately explored. It is a little meandering, but it’s part of its charm.

  • Bryn Mawr, PA

    I couldn’t put this down! Ms. King writes so vividly of emotions and Boston and love, and in such a beautiful way. Such a stunning exploration of grief and love, and the complications of being human.

  • Phoenix, AZ

    I couldn’t put it down! So honest about our own expectations of ourselves or where we think we should be. It’s an uplifting, honest reminder we’re all right where we’re supposed to be in life.

  • Union, NJ

    Writers & Lovers is a lyrical excursion into Casey Peabody’s life, and readers will come out the other side completely enraptured with her character as she navigates her life and its many challenges.

  • Alton, NH

    There was so much that resonated with me in this book. King captured the raw pain of grief from losing one’s mother perfectly. This was a different type of novel full of reflection, humor and grace.

  • Hoschton, GA

    A moving slice-of-life story that starts slowly but won me over by the end. I was so invested in the heroine’s journey and was rooting for her to find her way! I loved how it ended on a hopeful note.

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