...writer Victor Lodato seems to be something of a polymath. His second novel, the wonder-filled and magisterial Edgar and Lucy, certainly feels as though it was written by one, so wide-ranging is it in its concerns and themes, and so ardent is it in its desire to bring everything — life, love, family, loneliness, magic, spiritualism and death — together in its pages ... Lodato's skill as a poet manifests itself on every page...His skill as a playwright shines in every piece of dialogue...And his skill as a fiction writer displays itself in his virtuoso command of point of view ... The book pushes the boundaries of beauty, inviting the reader to be like Edgar, who, even when staring at litter on the ground, 'knew that these things were garbage, but at the same time he could feel their tiny breathless souls.'
[Lodato] repeats the impressive trick of creating a character so peculiar, vivid and appealing (think of Owen Meany minus the messianic complex) that Edgar becomes this ambitious novel’s enduring reward ... On every page, Lodato’s prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit, making Edgar and Lucy a delight to read ... One of the many things Lodato renders trenchantly in these pages is how a child in a disrupted home becomes the reluctant vessel of conflict ... For all of its existential searching, Edgar and Lucy ends up being a riveting and exuberant ride.
It’s a dark mirror of Lodato’s debut, filled with menace and grief that takes no less than seven weighty passages to play out ... These characters hurtle toward a climax that begins to defy plausibility—the author ties things up with a jarring change in voice at the end—but readers who make it that far are apt to be enraptured already. A domestic fable about grief and redemption likely to leave readers emotionally threadbare.
Through numerous changing viewpoints, the truth is gradually revealed, creating suspense and rewarding readers with unexpected parallels and touching connections. Lodato’s remarkable novel traces a broken family’s spiritual journey toward healing in moving, magical prose.
The novel has the plot of a much briefer book, and, while some readers may revel in its rich description, others will find it self-indulgent. Secondary characters come across as more quirky than credible, and the introduction of the point of view of a ghostly character disrupts the flow of the narrative.