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Amy and Isabelle (1998)

by Elizabeth Strout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,084756,650 (3.69)197
When Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student, falls in love with her math teacher, the love affair threatens the intimate relationship between Amy and her mother, Isabelle, whose feelings are influenced by the shame of her own past.
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» See also 197 mentions

English (70)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
I made myself finish it just in case it suddenly got better. It didn't. ( )
  widdershinns | Dec 4, 2022 |
I loved 'Olive Kitteridge' so much, that i have now gathered all of Strout's works and i am starting at the beginning. Had no idea what to expect with this, which is my preference. It definitely went places i was not anticipating - rather candid coming of age sexuality for example.....but the remarkable insight into the mother/daughter relationship was very poignant to me. I also appreciated her steady detail asides.....weather, a mill office, a Congregational church service, overall small-town Maine context.........all of it was spot-on, believable and helpful to carry the narrative forward. Certainly a very respectable first novel! Ready to try another. ( )
  jeffome | Nov 8, 2022 |
“But what could you do? Only keep going. People kept going; they had been doing it for thousands of years. You took the kindness offered, letting it seep as far in as it could go, and the remaining dark crevices you carried around with you, knowing that over time they might change into something almost bearable.”
― Elizabeth Strout, Amy and Isabelle

I should have liked this but didn't.

So this is Historical Fiction though the exact time it takes place is not specified. And it is about a mother/daughter relationship. And it takes place in small town Maine. I see many of my GR pals have read this. I wasn't a major fan.

So this book had been on my radar. Yet I did not like it nearly as much as many other reviewers. I didn't hate it. I think it is a perfect example of a book I'd give three stars to. It was just OK for me.

It was a pretty grim story overall. I had thought I would love this and though I loved certain aspects of it..Isabelle learning to read the classics for one..I didn't really get into it all that much.

The mother and daughter have a very complicated relationship and the book is wound with sadness.
I think I liked Isabelle more than Amy although Amy get s into a situation that does inspire empathy.

It is a great example of a book that looks like one's type of book on paper, but when actually read is not.

I found I had to force myself to go on. Like I said, Isabelle's desire to learn to read the classics was my favorite part. I almost felt tenderness toward her. And I was rooting for her!

Amy? I don't know. I felt for her but just never clicked with the story although it is powerful and quite grim.

I had read a book shortly before this that dealt with SOME..not all..but some..of the issues surrounding Amy. It was called "The Ice Cream Girls" by Dorothy Koomson and was quite long. I loved that book but I think going right from that to this may have dampened my enthusiasm a bit since there were some elements that were the same.

So to summarize..not a favorite. It was a pretty bleak story and there isn't any getting around that it was a bit of a let down for me. I am glad to see others who adored this. I would just say it was a decent read but not the book for me. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 5, 2022 |
Wow - großartig. Ich war ja erst skeptisch, weil ich eigentlich keine Lust auf eine Geschichte mit einer Affäre zwischen einem Lehrer und einer Schülerin hatte, aber das Buch hat mich doch sehr schnell in seinen Bann gezogen. Sowohl Mutter als auch Tochter waren glaubwürdig dargestellt, Amy hat mich gelegentlich fast zur Verzweiflung gebracht mit ihrem Verhalten (das für ein Mädchen ihres Alters völlig normal ist) und ihrer Naivität, mit der sie glaubt, in ihrem Mathelehrer die große Liebe und den Mann fürs Leben gefunden zu haben. Aber auch ihre Mutter Isabelle ist nicht ganz einfach - verklemmt, hoffnungslos verliebt in ihren verheirateten Chef und viel zu sehr fixiert darauf, was ihr Umfeld von ihr halten könnte. Ich hätte mir in der Mitte des Buches nicht vorstellen können, wie die Geschichte für die beiden gut ausgehen könnte.

Eine absolute Leseempfehlung - kommt in meinen Augen an die Olive Kitteridge Reihe der Autorin heran. Außerdem habe ich hier wahrscheinlich meine Nebenfigur dieses Jahres gefunden - die Kollegin Fat Bev ist in so vielerlei Hinsicht eine großartige Figur. ( )
  Ellemir | May 25, 2022 |
just ok, didn't care for the ending. ( )
  myers3 | Dec 31, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Strout, Elizabethprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Funhoff, Tinekesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, MartinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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It was terribly hot that summer Mr. Robertson left town, and for a long while the river seemed dead.
Quotations
Some thought the world might be coming to an end, and even those women not inclined to go that far had to admit it might not have been a good idea sending men into space, that we had no business, really, walking around up there on the moon.
But the heat was relentless and the fans rattling in the windows seemed to be doing nothing at all, and eventually the women ran out of steam, sitting at their big wooden desks with their legs slightly apart, lifting their hair from the back of their necks.
"I can't shut up for five minutes," she said, and Amy, keeping an eye on the clock one day, found this to be true.
Here was something new to fear—her daughter's pity for her ignorance.
What followed was something that Isabelle would speak of only once, years later, when her life had become a very different one. Amy, on the other hand, would later in her adulthood tell a number of people, until she realized finally that it was one story in a million and ultimately didn't matter to anyone.
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When Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student, falls in love with her math teacher, the love affair threatens the intimate relationship between Amy and her mother, Isabelle, whose feelings are influenced by the shame of her own past.

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