That feeling of being twenty-something years old and having no idea what is going on or where your life may be headed? Apparently you’re not the only one and Erika Carter has tapped into that sinking existential feeling many get when trying to decide what to do with their lives.
Lucky You is an intimate view at the psyche of many Millennial adults, who have collectively expressed an un-readiness to confront the disastrous systems between them and happiness.
About the Book
Lucky You follows three women in their twenties, Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel, who know each other through the local bar that they all waitress for. They are in similar phases in their lives, living without long term goals (or desire) for success. The novel follows them as they remove themselves from society in the hopes of finding meaning and fulfillment in their separate lives.
The novel takes place primarily:
- In a college town in Arkansas where Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel work and presumably met. The town gives off the feeling of being stuck and too-small. Featuring a dead end bar and a lackluster country music scene, the town is nothing more than a feeling of needing to escape.
- In the second part of the book, Chloe and Ellie join Rachel and her egocentric and self-serving boyfriend, Autry in a remote area in the Ozarks. The four of them take months out of their lives to pursue Autry’s “Project”. Autry envisions writing a book about the four of them living remotely, engaging in “healthful” activities and “cleansing” themselves of the day-to-day world. It is a distant idea, and one that is eternally in-progress.
“They talked about the Project. Soon, Autry said, he would be drafting the first chapter. Soon. But first he needed more research on their previous lives of unhealth.”
The characters are well thought out and appropriately mundane. While the three women the book focuses on are mainly just going through the motions the entire time, the reader gets an astute feeling of self discovery in the process.
Our Review of Lucky You:
Reading this book is like having a heavy fog over the mind and desperately searching for clarity. Unfortunately, there is no ultimate resolve that takes the wool from our eyes. This makes Lucky You thought-stimulating.
But, really, what would be a real “solution” to the despair of living a life unfulfilled? (Not a rhetorical question -let’s discuss in the comments!)
We gave this book a 3/5 stars on Goodreads based on these things:
Erika Carter’s unique voice is compelling in its slowness -it captures the prosaic daily life of characters that have nothing to do and no where to go.
Insightful + Thoughtful
This is a solidly positive quality about Lucky You. The novel completely captures an evasive feeling shared by millions. The aimlessness and despair that many feel in their twenties is hard to put a finger on, but is tapped into in this story.
Carter somehow managed to capture an elusive ominous quality while at the same time inserting dark wit into the pages of this novel: from the way the town’s indie country band’s van runs on grease, to the absolute and intense laziness shared by all of the characters.
What brings you fulfillment in life? What makes it hard to feel fulfilled?
Our hot take: Some are fulfilled by careers in fields they enjoy or feel passionate about. Other people feel accomplished creating and nurturing a family. But those are two traditional paths laid before us. Sometimes it is difficult to find what you are fulfilled by before you can strive to find any satisfaction in life. Discuss in the comments below!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A definite thinker, Erika Carter manages to fill an insightful and slow-paced story with more than one takeaway. The plot revolves around themes of small town life, mindsets ridden with mental illness, and fear of the future, particularly for many Gen Y adults, who have collectively expressed an un-readiness to confront the disastrous system in the U.S. Reading this novel is one hard swallow and may leave you with a cavern in your chest -definitely not feel good. But Carter absolutely hits the nail on the head with “Lucky You”. In terms of writing, the story often crosses from thoughtful and insightful to slow as themes are repeated too often. The omission of many cigarette/weed-smoking scenes could have added to the overall punch of this novel.