Hello, Buzz Book Club readers! It's time to officially kick off a new year of reading together and I've chosen a book based on a resolution of mine to read the books on my shelf before I buy a new one. Over the holidays I heard a glowing review of author Elizabeth Strout's newest book and was just about to buy it when I realized I had her older bestselling novel, Amy and Isabelle, on my shelf already.
The book was a hit back when it first debuted in the late '90s so some of you may have already read it and can chime in along with us newbies. I came across a reviewer's description of the novel that says it "recalls not only the gritty realism of Peyton Place, but something of the elegiac charm of Our Town, as well" which struck me as just the kind of fiction I'd like to pick up after a couple months of memoir reading.
For those of you new to my book club format, here's how it works: I announce a new book each month. Every week I suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in January). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few discussion-provoking questions for you to respond to in the comments section.
To find out what Amy and Isabelle is all about and to get the first assignment,
The synopsis for Amy and Isabelle reads:
"Amy and Isabelle explores the secrets of sexuality that jeopardize the love between a mother and her daughter. Amy Goodrow, a shy high school student in a small mill town, falls in love with her math teacher, and together they cross the line between understandable fantasy and disturbing reality. When discovered, this emotional and physical trespass brings disgrace to Amy's mother, Isabelle, and intensifies the shame she feels about her own past."
The first assignment: Read from the start of the book through chapter seven (stop before chapter eight). We'll discuss this section next Friday, Jan. 16.