Amy and Isabelle

Amy and Isabelle

by Elizabeth Strout

Anne Ferber: After enjoying "Olive Kitteridge", I thought it would be interesting to see what Ms. Strout's debut novel was like. Published in 1998, the theme is certainly relevant today. This is a heartbreaking story of a young, single mother(Isabelle) and her daughter (Amy), who at the time of the writing is coming into full sexuality. She has been given very few clues about how to handle this time of life, due to her mother's own guilt and and lies about her own initial experiences (or lack thereof). The book illustrates just how dangerous it is to keep secrets. The greatest danger is to one's own peace of mind and ability to have social relationships; and also to the developmental spirit of your child. I would recommend this book, especially as a mother-daughter conversation starter.
Rating: ***

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