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Amy and Isabelle: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Februar 2000

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Taschenbuch, 1. Februar 2000
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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

"It was terribly hot the summer Mr. Robertson left town." For Amy Goodrow and her mother, Isabelle, the heat of that summer is the least of their problems. Other citizens in the New England mill town of Shirley Falls are bothered by the heat and by "other things too: Further up the river crops weren't right--pole beans were small, shriveled on the vine, carrots stopped growing when they were no bigger than the fingers of a child; and two UFOs had apparently been sighted in the north of the state." But Amy and Isabelle have a more private misery: a seemingly unbridgeable chasm has opened between this once-close mother and daughter and nothing will ever be the same again. For Amy has fallen in love with her high-school math teacher, Mr. Robertson, who has gone way beyond the bounds of propriety by encouraging the crush. When Isabelle finds out, she is horrified to realize that her anger at him is dwarfed by her rage at her own daughter for "enjoying the sexual pleasures of a man while she herself had not."

Mother-daughter novels can, by virtue of their subject matter, often seem claustrophobic, a little overwrought; Elizabeth Strout masterfully avoids this problem by placing Amy and Isabelle in the larger context of the community they inhabit. Though her main focus is on the Goodrow women, Strout often detours into the lives and thoughts of her many secondary characters: Isabelle's coworkers Dottie Brown and Fat Bev; Amy's best friend, Stacy Burrows; Stacy's ex-boyfriend, Paul Bellows; and women from Isabelle's church such as Peg Dunlap and Barbara Rawley. She also introduces a chilling frisson of menace with the unsolved abduction of a 12-year-old girl and a mysterious obscene phone-caller. Like the best of Alice Hoffman, Amy and Isabelle offers up a moving yet resolutely unsentimental portrait of people coming to terms with their lives, finding unsuspected nobility in themselves and unexpected kindness in others along the way. Elizabeth Strout has written a gem of a novel. --Alix Wilber -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

Pressestimmen

"One of those rare, invigorating books that take an apparently familiar world and peer into it with ruthless intimacy, revealing a strange and startling place." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Strout's insights into the complex psychology bewteen [mother and daughter] result in a poignant tale about two coming of age." --Time

"Impressive....Strout writes with abundant warmth." --People

"Poignant...sensitively imagined...[Amy and Isabelle] recalls the elgegiac charm of Our Town." --The Christian Science Monitor

"Stunning....Every once in a while, a novel comes along that plunges deep into your psyche, leaving you breathless....This year that novel is Amy and Isabelle." --San Francisco Chronicle

"A novel of shining integrity and humor, about the bravery and hard choices of what is called ordinary life." --Alice Munro

"Excellent....Strout's collective portrait...remains unflaggingly engaging....[W]hat a pleasure to gain entry into the world of this book." --The New Yorker

"Lovely, powerful...a kind if modern 'Rapunzel.'" --Newsweek

"Amy and Isabelle is an impressive debut....with an expansiveness and inventiveness that is the mark of a true storyteller." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Format: Taschenbuch
The writing was beautiful and evocative. I enjoyed the book so much that I found myself carrying it around with me in my purse so I could read it at odd moments - on line in the department store, for example! I wanted to finish the book yet I never wanted it to end. This was truly a great first novel and I look forward to her next book(s).
Was I the only one who thought, at first, that the dead teenager had been killed by Mr. Robertson? That would have been a more sensationalistic ending, of course, and perhaps the book was better this way. But it seemed to me that it could have been an interesting concept - that Robertson was a killer, so perhaps he really did like Amy just a little bit because he didn't kill her. And - by the way - do other people think that Robertson was the one who made the obscene phone call? Robertson was an incredibly vile character.
The Robertson character, at first, reminded me a little bit of the older seducer in Anita Shreve's latest book, Fortune's Rocks (which I also enjoyed, by the way), although the character in Shreve's novel had a lot more redeeming qualities than Robertson.
The scene with the hair cutting was terrific. It actually made me say "oh my god" out loud in the fast food restaurant where I was eating my chicken sandwich. People must have thought I was a bit strange. After so much description of how beautiful her hair was you wanted to reach a hand out and grab Isabelle - say no, no, don't do it.
One more thing - don't you think Evelyn Cunningham was just a little bit too nice to Isabelle?
Great book, highly recommended.
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Dies ist nach "Olive Kitteridge" das zweite Buch, das ich von E. Strout gelesen habe. Im Vergleich zu diesem fällt "Amy und Isabelle" vielleicht etwas ab (gegen Ende), weshalb ich nur vier Sternen gebe. Trotzdem erweist sich die Autorin auch hier wieder als vortreffliche Darstellerin zwischenmenschlicher Prozesse, Gefühle und Stimmungen. Dabei wird diese Geschichte vor dem Hintergrund eines Jahresablaufs entfaltet. Der intensivste Teil, in dem Isabells Tochter Amy sich in ihrer Beziehung zu ihrem Mathematiklehrer verliert, spielt sich in den unerträglich heissen Wochen eines aussergewöhnlich trockenen Sommers ab. Der Leser spürt die Hitze und erlebt sie, wie die Schwere der Gefühle aller Beteiligten, fast am eigenen Leib. Mit dem Regen und der Abkühlung des Spätsommers und Herbstes geht eine gewisse Erleicheterung einher, wiederum nicht nur meteorologisch gesprochen.
Eine einfühlsame Erzählung über eine Mutter-Tochter-Beziehung, das letztliche Alleinsein mit unseren tiefsten Gefühlen und die Möglichkeit, doch so etwas wie Nähe und Freundschaft aufzubauen, beschrieben in der für Strout wohl typischen Art scheinbar distanzierter Zurückhaltung, die gleichzeitig sehr zu berühren vermag.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I really disagree with the comparisons between Strout and Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, and Alice Hoffman. This novel did not have the beautiful lyric quality of Hoffman, the profound humor of Tyler, nor the depth of character that one finds in Berg's work. There are so many problems with this book. Isabelle is a wooden, pathetic figure of a mother - I wanted to shake her when her discovery of her daughter's molestation leads her to abuse her daughter and worry about the intellectual impression she made on her daughter's molester. As a mother, my anger would have been directed at the criminal not the victim! In light of Isabelle's critical, jealous view of her daughter, why on earth would Amy forgive her - I couldn't. This is not the portrayal of a beautiful mother/daughter relationship! The ending was completely unbelievable and much too "happily ever after" to ring true. I found the use of Fat Bev objectional - wouldn't 'Bev' have been sufficient and much less discriminatory?I expect I will see quite a bit of disagreement to this review - perhaps Amazon should change the wording to "Do you agree with this review", instead of "Did you find it helpful" since that seems to be the feedback that is registered here.
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Von IBa am 30. November 2012
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Eine sehr anschauliche, auch mit Humor geschriebene Mutter-Tochtergeschichte, die auf der Lebenslüge der Mutter nicht gut verlaufen kann. Auch vor Amy verheimlicht die Mutter, unverheiratet geblieben, die Unehelichkeit ihrer Tochter, bis Pubertätskonflikte etc. zur Lösung der Konfikte führen.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This novel is exceptional. Elizabeth Strout manages to take a simple, almost mundane story about a mother and her teenage daughter amd make it something special. The story takes place in a year in the life of Isabelle, a single mother, and her daughter Amy. Amy falls in love with her math teacher, and mother and daughter are, at least for a while, torn apart.
What makes this novel so special is the incredible evocative powers Strout has. She is able to, with very few words, bring you to a time and a place, and you are there. That is not to say that the writing is in anyway "spare". Quite the contrary, this is a rich novel, but without any excess weight. Amy and Isabelle, as characters are completely real, completely believable.
Although I do give this novel 5 stars, it does have a few, minor flaws. Amy never wonders about her father, which I found a little hard to accept. Additionally, sometimes, Strout's involvement of the minor characters seemed a little forced. As a whole, however, this is an outstanding first novel and I look forward to her future works. I also think this would make a great book club book as in it there are many topics for discussion--mother/daughter relationships, parenting, youth, to name a few.
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