Monday, August 08, 2022

Ten top midlife coming-of-age novels

Sarah McCraw Crow grew up in Virginia but has lived most of her adult life in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has run in Calyx, Crab Orchard Review, Good Housekeeping, So to Speak, Waccamaw, and Stanford Alumni Magazine. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College (AB, history), Stanford University (MA, journalism), and Vermont College of Fine Arts (MFA in writing). When she's not reading or writing, she's probably gardening or snowshoeing (depending on the weather).

The Wrong Kind of Woman is her literary debut.

Q&A with Sarah McCraw Crow.

At Lit Hub the author tagged ten "notable midlife coming-of-age novels," including:
Elizabeth Strout, Amy and Isabelle

Elizabeth Strout’s debut novel, which roves between the perspectives of a mother and teen daughter, is a dual coming-of-age novel. Single mom Isabelle and sixteen-year-old daughter Amy live in the small and gossipy New England mill town Shirley Falls. It’s the late Sixties, and Isabelle is determined to live a proper life, despite her singlehood. As teenage Amy (naturally) rebels against Isabelle’s repressive strictures, falling in love with the wrong guy, Isabelle in turn struggles, resentful of Amy and unable to figure out how to parent her. The two move through a rough summer. By summer’s end Isabelle, the mom, is the more changed character, the one who sheds her false old self and really begins to live, and to love her daughter unconditionally.
Read about another entry on the list.

Amy and Isabelle is among Patricia Abbott's five top novels about mothers and daughters and James Mustich's five top books on mothers and children.

--Marshal Zeringue