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Download Amy and Isabelle Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Strout Narrator: Stephanie Roberts Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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With compassion, humor, and striking insight, 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. In a fury, she lashes out at her daughter’s beauty and then retreats into outraged silence. Amy withdraws, too, and mother and daughter eat, sleep, and even work side by side but remain at a vast, seemingly unbridgeable distance from each other.

This conflict is surrounded by other large and small dramas in the town of Shirley Falls—a teenage pregnancy, a UFO sighting, a missing child, and the trials of Fat Bev, the community’s enormous (and enormously funny and compassionate) peacemaker and amateur medical consultant.

Keeping Isabelle and Amy as the main focus of her sharp, sympathetic eye, Elizabeth Strout attends to them all. As she does so, she reveals not only her deep affection for her characters, both serious and comic, but her profound wisdom about the human condition in general. She makes us care about these extraordinary ordinary people and makes us hope that they will find a way out of their often self-imposed emotional exile.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A novel of shining integrity and humor, about the bravery and hard choices of what is called ordinary life.”

    Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature

  • “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.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “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

  • “Strout’s insights into the complex psychology between [mother and daughter] result in a poignant tale about two coming of age.”


  • Amy and Isabelle is an impressive debut…with an expansiveness and inventiveness that is the mark of a true storyteller.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Elizabeth Strout’s auspicious first novel…is tender and vigorous, full of surprising turns and quiet unfoldings, and it has a realism that is at once lovely and unsparing in its power.”

    Denver Post

  • “A genuine literary talent…Strout uses remarkable restraint to deliver credible, and indeed likeable, characters whose emotions churn dangerously close to the surface…The writing—sensitive, direct, and polished—is nearly flawless.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Seldom has a writer captured the complexities of the love, pain, and forgiveness between mother and daughter as well as this promising young novelist.”

    San Antonio Express-News

  • “Strout has an uncanny ability to portray the poignant power struggle between teenage girls and their mothers…A finely crafted novel.”

    Hartford Chronicle

  • “Lovely, powerful…A kind if modern ‘Rapunzel.’”


  • “Poignant...sensitively imagined…[Amy and Isabelle] recalls the elegiac charm of Our Town.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Impressive…Strout writes with abundant warmth.”


  • “Excellent…Strout’s collective portrait…remains unflaggingly engaging…[W]hat a pleasure to gain entry into the world of this book.”

    New Yorker

  • “A lyrical, closely observant first novel…Strout demonstrates exceptional poise, and an uncommon ability to render complex emotions with clarity and a sympathetic intelligence.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 1999 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Shortlisted for the 2000 Orange Prize for Fiction
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About the Narrator

Stephanie Roberts is a native of Washington State. She studied acting at Cornish College of the Arts and has been performing, writing, directing, and teaching theater in Seattle and throughout the country for over a decade.