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Mother-daughter novels can, by virtue of their subject matter, often seem claustrophobic, a little overwrought; Elizabeth Strout masterfully avoids this problem by placing Amy and Isabelle in the larger context of the community they inhabit. Though her main focus is on the Goodrow women, Strout often detours into the lives and thoughts of her many secondary characters: Isabelle's coworkers Dottie Brown and Fat Bev; Amy's best friend, Stacy Burrows; Stacy's ex-boyfriend, Paul Bellows; and women from Isabelle's church such as Peg Dunlap and Barbara Rawley. She also introduces a chilling frisson of menace with the unsolved abduction of a 12-year-old girl and a mysterious obscene phone-caller. Like the best of Alice Hoffman, Amy and Isabelle offers up a moving yet resolutely unsentimental portrait of people coming to terms with their lives, finding unsuspected nobility in themselves and unexpected kindness in others along the way. Elizabeth Strout has written a gem of a novel. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Too much withholding. You want to shake the characters and tell them to TALK to one another.Published 26 days ago by M F Pierce
As the mother of two teenage girls, this was hard to read and definitely made me squirm. But it was so well-written that I found myself caring about characters that I couldn't... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Lisa Sarnowski
Not up to Olive Kitteridge but still a good read. I guess all of Strout's characters are incredibly realistic and mostly unlikeable.Published 1 month ago by Susan G. Snow
Elizabeth Strout is a wonderful writer, but seems to have found a genre all her own: Bleak Family Relationships. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gettysburg Girl
Ms. Sprout paints a desolate picture that draws in the reader from beginning g to the end. The drabness of the setting and the characters is palpable and so real. Read morePublished 1 month ago by momof3