Book Review: Writers & Lovers by Lily King

As someone who loves books, especially literary fiction, I was really looking forward to diving into this one. Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable and thought-provoking read that gave me a lot to think about.

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

TitleWriters & Lovers
AuthorLily King
GenreFiction, Romance
Publication DateMarch 3, 2020
Length320 pages

Where to Purchase

The Story and Characters

The novel follows Casey Peabody, a 31-year-old aspiring novelist struggling to find her way after the sudden death of her mother. Casey works as a waitress while trying to finish her novel and deal with overwhelming grief and anxiety. She becomes embroiled in two romantic relationships – one with an older, established novelist, and another with a charming but aimless restaurant dishwasher.

I really sympathized with Casey as she navigated her complicated love life and attempts to move forward with her writing career. The author did a great job making Casey feel like a real, flawed person that I wanted to root for. Her relationships with the two very different men captured the confusion and uncertainty that often comes with dating and relationships.

Themes of Grief, Love, and Finding Your Purpose

A major theme in the book is grief and how we deal with loss. The tragic death of Casey’s mother continues to impact her thoughts and emotions throughout the story. I thought it provided an insightful exploration of the grieving process and how losing a loved one can shake us to our core. Casey feels adrift after her mother’s death, struggling to regain her sense of purpose.

Love and relationships are also a big focus. Casey wants human connection but finds it difficult to open up. The push and pull between her desire for intimacy and her fear of vulnerability will ring true for many readers. I liked how the novel highlighted the joys and challenges of romantic relationships in a thoughtful way.

Finally, Casey’s journey to find meaning in her work and life felt universally relatable. At 31, she feelsbehind in her writing career and unsure if she’ll ever finish her novel. I think many creative people will identify with Casey’s self-doubt and struggles. Her path to self-discovery and fulfillment make for an uplifting and affirming read.

My Takeaways

While a novel about a 31-year-old aspiring female writer in 1990s Boston may seem niche, I found Writers & Lovers explored many universal themes in a poignant, enjoyable way. Casey’s journey through grief, relationships, and finding her purpose felt authentic and emotionally resonant.

As someone who also struggles with self-doubt in my creative pursuits, I found Casey inspiring. Her perseverance through inner turmoil encouraged me. And her drive to produce meaningful work, despite endless obstacles and anxiety, motivated me in my own writing.

While a good story was enough to make me like the book, these personal takeaways are what made me truly love it. Writers & Lovers left me feeling uplifted, thoughtful, and a little more hopeful about the writing process. For that reason, I’d highly recommend this novel to other aspiring creatives and anyone going through a period of life transition or self-discovery.


  • Paula Davis

    Paula Davis is a dedicated and seasoned content writer for Dreaming and Reading, where she brings her extensive knowledge and passion for literature to a wide audience of fellow book enthusiasts. With the heart of a true bookworm, Paula has immersed herself in the literary world, devouring approximately 50 books annually for the last 15 years. This impressive reading habit has not only provided her with immense joy but has also significantly honed her expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the realm of book reviews. Her insightful and well-crafted reviews reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of various genres, offering valuable guidance to readers in search of their next great read. With a finger always on the pulse of the latest literary releases, Paula Davis is a trusted voice and a go-to source for book recommendations and reviews.

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