I got an ARC of this book by NetGalley (which is slowly but steadily becoming a favorite for me) in exchange of my honest review. So, ladies and gentlemen i leave you here with it;
Isabelle Days Refuses To Die Of A Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony
Genre: Realistic Fiction, middle school
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Summary: In Milwaukee, Isabelle Day had a house. And she had a father. This year, on Halloween, she has half of a house in Minneapolis, a mother at least as sad as she is, and a loss that’s too hard to think—let alone talk—about. It’s the Midwest in the early 1960s, and dads just don’t die . . . like that.
Hovering over Isabelle’s new world are the duplex’s too-attentive landladies, Miss Flora (“a lovely dried flower”) and her sister Miss Dora (“grim as roadkill”), who dwell in a sea of memories and doilies; the gleefully demonic Sister Mary Mercy, who rules a school awash in cigarette smoke; and classmates steady Margaret and edgy Grace, who hold out some hope of friendship. As Isabelle’s first tentative steps carry her through unfamiliar territory—classroom debacles and misadventures at home and beyond, time trapped in a storm-tossed cemetery and investigating an inhospitable hospital—she begins to discover that, when it comes to pain and loss, she might actually be in good company.
In light of the elderly sisters’ lives, Grace and Margaret’s friendship, and her father’s memory, she just might find the heart and humor to save herself.
My Opinion on the book:
This book is what i call “a slice of life” sort of story. We get to see Isabelle and everyone around her as their lives develops and keeps going from where we first meet them.
There is no supernatural/science fiction thing to it at all, just life itself, so i wouldn’t recommend it for people expecting to find fast passing, incredible stories. They won’t get any of them in this book.
And yet, i found this book to be really charming, maybe it’s the way it was written, or the way the characters are. Because, i learned to love Isabelle and her friends very much, they were so innocent (well, they are young girls) and funny, it would be lovely to spend an afternoon with them.
Although for my current self this book didn’t work much, mostly because i’m already in another place in my reading life, i’m sure my younger self, the one that loved “Little Women” and “Daddy Long Legs” would had kissed this book as she finished and hugged it for a long while.
I would really recommend this book to younger than 14/15 years old kids, as the voice of the main character may echo to their own insecurities about what is friendship, social interaction and such. To be completely honest sometimes it echoed to me as a grown up too…
In conclusion, a nice reading, especially for the younger readers and for those looking for a sweet, slow passed “this is life” kind of story.