“It was terribly hot that summer Mr. Robertson left town, and for a long while the river seemed dead.”

strout

What should the first sentence in a great novel do? Set the tone, establish the location and perhaps introduce the main character?  The first sentence in Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout does more than that. It gives us the dying river image, which prepares us for the idea that something important has gone terribly wrong. (And it has.) By meeting the villain — Mr. Robertson — before we meet the two central characters, we see which force has dominated. Will things get better? Here is a hint: the last two words of the novel are “golden air.”

Elizabeth Strout, Amy and Isabelle (New York: Vintage Books: A Division of Random House, Inc., 1999), p. 3.

 



This entry was posted in fiction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “It was terribly hot that summer Mr. Robertson left town, and for a long while the river seemed dead.”

  1. Lucille Lewke says:

    I’m hooked…I want to read this book!! LL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *