Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony

This is a slow thoughtful book about a girl trying to come to terms with her father's death. Following his death, Isabelle and her mother return to her mother's home town where her mother gets a teaching position. They live above the McCarthy sisters, a couple of elderly ladies, who do their best to help out. 

Isabelle has a lot to cope with: a new school and new teachers, making new friends, and the meddling of the McCarthy sisters. She worries about her mother and whether or not Margaret, the girl across the road, really likes her or is just being kind to her. In spite of all this, Isabelle comes across as a strong person, capable of standing up for herself and admitting when she has made a mistake. 

There is a sweetness to the idea of this book - learning how to grieve and move on from those who have lived it. I wanted to like it. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work for me. I kept trying to place this book in some time frame and couldn't, and this frustrated me. The writing feels stilted and these characters and their interactions, aren't quite authentic.

That said, I can see some of my readers enjoying this easy to read book. 

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