Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Beautiful, lyrical writing. This book is for those readers who read simply for the characters. The plot was intentionally predictable, with every turn foreseeable chapters before the characters come to make the discoveries. The mother-daughter connection is written poignantly, and "the past will repeat itself" theme is clearly stated without being annoyingly repeated.
My qualm with the book is its pacing. Once I read a heart-rending passage, I wanted more; I wanted acceleration. Instead, as soon as Strout finished a chapter, she would begin the next one with outstanding but lengthy descriptions of scenery or town history. With every chapter I felt like I was moving backward before I could more forward, and I am a very forward-moving reader.
However, the relationships between women--young friends, old friends, coworkers, wives, mothers and daughters--are all rendered with authenticity, which I greatly appreciate in a book which, superficially, is about affairs between men and women.
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