Amy and Isabelle

I finished up a novel the other night by an author I’d never read before, Elizabeth Strout. A different novel of hers made its way onto my wish list for library loans some time ago and when I looked into it more deeply, I decided to read her first novel first. Amy and Isabelle is very a thought driven book, meaning that much of the book is their individual thoughts and the action is secondary. It took a while, but it drew me in.

Isabelle, the mother, and Amy live in a small Massachusetts town (about an hour or so from Boston) in the 1960s, approximately. I had to gauge the time period by lots of little clues as it wasn’t explicit. But that made it even better to me, because the two characters and the way they interacted with each other, could have taken place at any time. It was the relationship between mother and daughter that drew me in.

In ways that I’m not even sure I can completely put into words, I related to both characters. At different moments, I can see myself in their actions and thoughts. And the classic push and pull of parent and child is one that I think is relatable to most since we have all been on at least one side of that relationship. So, if you like deeply thought driven novels, with rich character development, this could be a book for you.