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Amy and Isabelle (1998)

de Elizabeth Strout

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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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» Mira també 193 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 70 (següent | mostra-les totes)
just ok, didn't care for the ending. ( )
  myers3 | Dec 31, 2020 |
A woman and her daughter; their relationship as it changes through their relationships with others; nicely done. ( )
  Angel.Tatum.Craddock | Dec 17, 2020 |
So long!
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this book and felt engrossed in the details of the characters’ emotions. It was difficult at times to sit with them as they slowly admitted to themselves how they felt and what they wanted, but it was worth it in the end. I wanted a little more from Amy, but maybe she just didn’t react the way I expected to the events that unfolded. Overall a moving book, with surprisingly funny side characters and beautiful writing. ( )
  nancyjean19 | Jun 3, 2020 |
I've enjoyed quite a few of the books Strout has written, starting with Olive Kitteridge, so I decided to go back to one of her earlier works,[Amy and Isabelle. I was less than enthralled. The story takes place in the mill town of Shirley Falls, Maine, which resurfaces in later novels. Isabelle Goodrow is a rather starchy, withdrawn woman who works as secretary to the mill manager, an older married man with whom she is secretly in love. When she moved to the town with her daughter, she slipped on a wedding ring and claimed to be a widow, but it was pretty clear to me that she was never married to Amy's father. Isabelle seems to feel that she is above the other women who work at the mill, and she hasn't really made any friends since moving to the town. Little wonder, then, that her teenage daughter Amy is also an introvert. She's a tall girl that noticeably slouches in hopes of disappearing, but her glorious head of bright blonde curls makes that nearly impossible. Aside from her lunchtime smoking buddy, Stacy, Amy pretty much keeps to herself. Like a lot of teenagers, she is withdrawing from her mother as well and resents her rules and fussing.

Enter Mr. Robinson, a substitute math teacher. It was clear to me from the start that this guy was a real creep. Besides his pretentious beard and a penchant for striking what are intended to be casual poses, he asks the students "cool" and sometimes personal questions in class. Really, is "What do you really want to do with your life?" an appropriate question for the first day in math class? Early on, he questions, "Amy Goodrow, why do you hide your face behind your hair?" Nothing like calling out a shy student's shyness in front of her peers. Amy admires him, then she hates him. Then he starts lending her books of poetry and giving her compliments. When Amy doesn't respond to the latter, he tells her, "A woman should learn to take compliments gracefully." Apparently this is the first time anyone has called Amy a woman. Pretty soon she is staying after school, and then Mr. Robertson is driving her home every afternoon, and you can guess where things go from here.

What I found disturbing, besides the details of predator grooming his victim, was Isabelle's reaction when she finds out what happened. While she is enraged at Robertson, she doesn't do much about it, preferring that no one know what happened, and instead directs her outrage at her daughter. It's understandable, especially considering what we suspect about how Amy came into being, but there is never any discussion between mother and daughter about what happened and why, on Robertson's part, it was inappropriate. Amy sees the two of them as star-crossed lovers torn apart by her mother, and Isabelle reacts by restricting Amy's freedom (but really not enough) and cutting off her hair, a symbol of her blossoming sexuality. It's obvious that Strout meant this to be an exploration of the mother-daughter relationship and Isabelle's coming to terms with her own past mistakes, but I found it hard to get over the way she reacted to her daughter being manipulated by a predator.

So, in other words, not my favorite Elizabeth Strout novel. ( )
1 vota Cariola | Mar 2, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Strout, Elizabethautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Funhoff, Tinekeautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Testa, MartinaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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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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