Amy and Isabelle

Amy and Isabelle

Paperback - 2000
Average Rating:
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In her stunning first novel, Amy and Isabelle , Elizabeth Strout evokes a teenager's alienation from her distant mother--and a parent's rage at the discovery of her daughter's sexual secrets. In most ways, Isabelle and Amy are like any mother and her 16-year-old daughter, a fierce mix of love and loathing exchanged in their every glance. That they eat, sleep, and work side by side in the gossip-ridden mill town of Shirley Falls only increases the tension. And just when it appears things can't get any worse, Amy's sexuality begins to unfold, causing a vast and icy rift between mother and daughter that will remain unbridgeable unless Isabelle examines her own secretive and shameful past.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2000
Edition: 1st Vintage Contemporaries ed
ISBN: 9780375705199
Branch Call Number: FIC STR
Characteristics: 303 p. ; 21 cm

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PamBurtonW
Jan 30, 2017

Yes, well-attention to the details of everyday life is succinct. This author's descriptive writing (TMI) would be good paired with a plot and more clarity about what the issues are they've been disagreeing about. There should be more excitement or anything resembling something other than boring subject matter. It may interest someone who's interested in mother daughter relationships or stories about ignorant, slovenly small town busy bodies. The gist of the story once I got through to many boring pages about nothing much is this: the daughter, Amy, who is coming into her hormonal years alternates between admiring and rejecting her mother. The mother, Isabelle feels rejected on many levels. The mother makes plans to send Amy off to a new life which doesn't include her then feels like her daughter is abandoning her. Preparing to depart, speechless Amy felt a swift, unarticulated compassion for her mother. Her mother, full of regrets, perceived Amy's silence as a sign that her daughter was already lost to her. Last page excerpt: '-Amy and Isabelle looked at each other. Amy raised both eyebrows and drew her breath in sharply as she smiled, as though to say, "Okay, let's go" and for a moment they were united, as if they had both agreed to blast off in a rocket and it was countdown time.' Would you agree there is much untapped potential for Elizabeth Strout? I think she needs to write a story with a tangible plot and some excitement paired with her descriptive reflections.

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h19835195
Jan 26, 2016

As a single Mum with a teenage daughter, I felt very strongly for the main characters in this story. Even though it was written quite some time ago, the same mother/daughter issues still remain today. I loved this book with it's wonderful characters.

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cjoanie
Aug 02, 2015

Excellent book, holds your attention right to the last line. Loved the previous book by Strout just as much.

c
coastalkate
Mar 26, 2014

A good character study. At times the story makes you feel uncomfortable, but I think that was the point - it made the characters uncomfortable as well. As always with Elizabeth Strout, very well written and crafted.

j
jkrejci
Apr 10, 2012

This is a beautiful and wrenching story by a writer who is, in my opinion, greatly underrated. It is a sensitive story, beautifully written, that is both thought-provoking and, at times, disturbing.

b
beverlywnace
Feb 08, 2012

Favorable Globe review/by author of Olive Kitteridge/pulitzer.

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