Pages - 304
Published by Simon & Schuster in 1999. This edition published in 2006
Challenges - Fall Into Reading and 100 books.
I picked this book up from the library a couple of months ago and it has taken me such a long to get around to reading it. I am so glad my library allows you to keep renewing books as I hate to take them back unread.
Amy & Isabelle is one of those books that progresses really quietly until the ending where all is revealed. It looks at the relationship between Isabelle, a struggling single mother secretly in love with her boss and Amy, a shy young girl, who embarks on an affair with her maths teacher. The book details the breakdown of their relationship over one summer as the affair comes to light. By the end of the book, their relationship has moved to a new level and you witness the journey they had to travel to reach it.
This book is about real life and real relationships and how people deal with the blows that life throws at them. The relationship between mother and daughter is such a difficult one and probably mirrors thousands of similar relationships around the world where the parent and child have such differing views of life.
I loved the character of Amy, as this book witnesses her coming of age. She goes from being a very shy girl who blossoms into a woman and realises what she wants out of life. Amy ends up doing some things that I felt she wouldn't be proud of, but I feel they were part of her journey in growing up and finding herself.
Isabelle learns a lot from Amy as the book progresses. When Amy's affair with her teacher is discovered and time passes, Isabelle begins to see parallels between Amy's life and her own. Isabelle changes her attitude towards the people around her and finally lets people into her life. The book follows the journey of two lonely people who learn to embrace life and the people around them.
I really enjoyed this book, as I found I could relate to both characters. Through Amy, I could understand the difficulty of those teenage years and dealing with the strong emotional feelings that occur within us all during that time period. Through Isabelle, I could see why she kept so many secrets hidden from pubic view,but they made her appear stuck up and aloof. I preferred it when she became more open with the people around her. I have always viewed myself as quite an open book and I have always thought that too many secrets can fester. Better out than in!
The minor characters within the book are interesting too. It is made very clear within the pages of the book that the grass is not really greener on the other side. Barbara Riley appears as the epitome of everything Isabelle would like to be. Yet as the book progresses, you find that Barbara's life is not an easy one and just like everyone else, she has her own problems to deal with.
If you like books that look at the relationship between mothers and daughters,then this one is for you. You will witness both mother and daughter finally coming of age.Other reviews of this book
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