I for Isobel
Penguin, 158 pp, $12. 99 pb 0-14-012624-4
Amy Witting’s second novel is a skilfully structured, totally absorbing, mystery story. Not a ‘who done it?’ but a ‘why did they do it?’ Why did Isobel Callaghan’s mother subject her child to such unrelenting and shocking psychological cruelty? Why did Isobel’s always tired, always silent father always acquiesce? Why is it Isobel and not her sister Margaret, who receives such treatment?
No! Isobel is not illegitimate! Nor is she adopted. Amy Witting’s novel is far more complex, far more searching, far more subtle.