“Amy was supposed to be named after her grandmother, but at the last minute mother decided that Amelia was not good enough, and named her America. Yes, America. Was it a way to influence her destiny? She didn't know. But she liked it. She really did.”
Amy's Story is a gripping love story that spans the period from the 1960s to the 2000s, on the background of the Vietnam War, student protests, the hippie culture, the birth of radicalism and feminism, presidential elections and assassinations, immigration, the Watergate scandal, up to the 9/11 attack and beyond―providing an interesting commentary on the historical highlights that gradually eroded core American values and brought about the current situation.
Amy's Story takes us through the life journey of two women friends, Amy and Stella, moving from Italy’s lyrical shores to America’s harsh reality. Although Amy has an American father, who is the owner of a major publishing house, she struggles to make it on her own. The two friends experience love, obstacles, achievements, setbacks, and success, and on the way meet captivating characters: Jim, a heartthrob who conceals his sensitive nature under a bravado façade; Steve, conformist and uninspiring; Nik, a passionate and extravagant Russian intellectual; Rosa, once a maid at Amy’s grandmother’s country estate and now married to the owner of a New York pizzeria; upper-crust people and simple folk. The setting is connected to aristocratic wealth, Italy’s fine arts, New York’s publishing world, motion pictures and academic circles.
Their story is narrated through Stella’s unfinished memoir, a manuscript that Amy is editing for publication. But in the end the memoir does not get published, because Amy transforms it into a successful novel. This twist has readers re-imagining the entire story, and seeing it from a surprising new perspective.
Praise for Amy’s Story
“Amy's Story is simply spellbinding. This is a story at once about identity, love and social upheaval; a woman's journey from old world to new; from Italy to America. Mysterious, brave and captivating.”
— Joe McGinniss Jr., author of Carousel Court and The Delivery Man
“An intriguing tale with a clever narrative twist.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“From the collapsing towers of 9/11 to the lyrical groves of northern Italy, the author ingeniously morphs Amy’s Story into a journey across America and back and forth across time. Along the way we meet a cohort of colorful characters, witness several romances, and there are wars and politics, too—all woven into a mesmerizing narrative that unspools like a good film. Anna Lawton is not only a scholar of the first rank, but a deft and artful novelist with a flair for the unexpected in her work.”
— Louis Menashe, author of Moscow Believes in Tears: Russians and Their Movies
“Lawton’s characters connect to words with dynamic interactions and intellectual alacrity. This author’s voice manages both the interior lives of her characters and the connective tissue of their worlds. Anna Lawton’s mastery of story orchestrates the best out of ‘situation and plot,’ with a full range of motion using the entire emotional alphabet.”
— Grace Cavalieri, Producer, “The Poet and the Poem” from the Library of Congress
“Amy’s Story by Anna Lawton sets a tempestuous romance against the turbulent half-century of global change that erupted in the 1960s and flowed across the land like a modern Great Flood. The private romance and the public turmoil work together to create a story as much about love as it is about progress, about aspiration and success as about longing and loss.”
— Ben East, Ben East Books.com
“Anna Lawton’s ear for dialogue is spot on, and she introduces friends, colleagues, events, and geographic changes with assurance. The book is a wonderful summation of North America’s trials and tribulations over the past four decades.” — San Francisco Book Review