Isa & May by Margaret Forster - review by Kate Saunders

Kate Saunders

Grandmother’s Footsteps

Isa & May


Chatto & Windus 316pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Isamay, a young academic, was named after her two grandmothers, Isa and May. These grannies, whose relationship seethes with unspoken rivalry, are the Colonel’s Lady and Judy O’Grady: posh Isa and working-class May, whose love for their only granddaughter makes them unwilling sisters under the skin. Isamay has grown up as both a prize and a weapon in their invisible game. 

This is fantastic territory for Forster, who has written so brilliantly about female relationships. She has explored the experience of motherhood, of mothering a wayward daughter, of being a wayward daughter, and of becoming a grandmother. Now, in Isa & May, she has taken the point of view

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

East of the Wardrobe

Follow Literary Review on Twitter