Why did I love this book?
In this exceptional story that I’ve read twice, Elizabeth Strout places a seemingly ordinary, though distant, mother and her shy teenage daughter in the provincial town of Shirley Falls, Maine, to create a stunning awakening in the daughter Amy and foster the admission of a long-hidden secret by Amy’s mother Isabelle. As much as Amy thinks her development is about her sexuality, it is more about forming a relationship with her lonely mother. After Amy learns her mother’s story, she learns her most important moment of identity has not been sexual initiation, but her self-acceptance. The relationship between mother and daughter fosters Amy’s coming of age.