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Amy and Isabelle

by Strout, Elizabeth.

Format: Large Print 1999
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Bethel Park Public Library Large Print LP STROUT Elizabeth
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
Collection  Large Print
Call Number  LP STROUT Elizabeth
Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student, falls in love with her math teacher, and together they cross the line between understandable fantasy and disturbing reality. When discovered, their relationship brings disgrace to Amy's mother, Isabelle, and intensifies the shame she feels for her own past. In a fury, she lashes out at her daughter's beauty and then retreats into outraged silence. Mother and daughter remain at a distance. This conflict is surrounded by other dramas in the town of Shirley Falls - a teenage pregnancy, a UFO sighting, a missing child, and the trials of Fat Bev, the community's enormous (and enormously funny and compassionate) peacemaker.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In a New England mill town during the summer, probably, of 1969, a lot of things were going on while Amy and her mother, Isabelle, were circling around the harsh knot of their ties to each other and their terror of them. Isabelle's pinched existence as a single mother belies a spirit that only occasionally flares into desire or pleasure; Amy's shy, desperate adolescence finds furtive solace in the caresses of her math teacher. Each woman has a kind of alter ego; for Isabelle, it's Fat Bev, large and talky but kind, one of the women at the mill's office where Isabelle is a secretary. For Amy, it is Stacy, her foul-mouthed best friend, who is pregnant and angry. A cast of characters find and lose each other, cling to kindness and to the comfort of the daily routine, however uninspired. Strout traces all of this with a precise evocation of pure feeling or glowing truth: "memories danced inside her like a living thing." Sexuality smolders and explodes; women have female troubles; mysteries never get solved; but through it all, Strout's intense scrutiny of what makes us our mothers' daughters is both beautiful and unsettling. Marvelous writing makes the quietest gesture ring loudly: the crashing of a Belleek cream pitcher is the sound of hearts breaking and healing. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Stories of young women who suffer the sexual advances of an authority figure (in this case, a high school math teacher) seem ubiquitous these days. But in Strout's gently powerful, richly satisfying debut, the damage shows less within the heart of the teenaged girl in question than in the wreckage of the previously tranquil relationship she had enjoyed with her mother. Amy Goodrow, 16, is the shy only child of Isabelle, a single mother. Isabelle's shame over the secret of her daughter's illegitimacy and her hunger for respectability keep her painfully isolated from the community of the New England mill town where she has made her home. Even before Amy's relations with her teacher become known, her beauty and her burgeoning sexuality arouse uncomfortable feelings of competitiveness in Isabelle, as well as dread at the prospect of her daughter's flight from Isabelle's carefully constructed nest. Amy, meanwhile, is in love; Strout lays out her teacher's charms as clearly as his caddishness, and her portrait of a young woman stumbling on the shattering power of lust‘her own and others'‘balances delicacy with frankness and breathtaking acuity. In the end, it is Isabelle who stays with the reader; devastated by her daughter's betrayal, riven with regrets over a life left largely unlived, she must somehow make amends to herself. This beautifully nuanced novel steers a course somewhere between the whimsy of Alice Hoffman and the compassionate insight of Anne Tyler and Sue Miller, and is sure to delight fans of all three. Agent, Lisa Bankoff at ICM. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Teenage girls -- New England -- Fiction.
Single mothers -- New England -- Fiction.
Illegitimate children -- New England -- Fiction.
Mothers and daughters -- New England -- Fiction.
High school teachers -- New England -- Fiction.
Sexual harassment in education -- New England -- Fiction.
Sexual ethics for teenagers -- New England -- Fiction.
Sexual consent -- New England -- Fiction.
Large type books.
New England -- Fiction.
Publisher [Rockland, Mass.] :Compass Press,1999
Language English
Description 465 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
ISBN 1568957289 (hc : alk. paper : lg. print)
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