Not a word is wasted; every sentence is neatly crafted to move the plot along, reveal the characters, or suggest the theme. A mere 234 pages long, it quickly comes to a satisfying resolution.
|Anne Tyler, b. 1941|
Author of The Beginner's Goodbye
The novel is so compact that I hesitate to say more, for fear of spoiling some discovery. The premise is stated in the first sentence: “The strangest thing about my wife’s return from the dead was how other people reacted.” The matter-of-fact tone for this outlandish statement is irresistible; I had to see what the speaker meant by that.
Anne Tyler was born the same year as I was, and her career has been enviable. She has published 19 novels, of which I have read about half. The Accidental Tourist was made into a movie. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant was very popular, and Breathing Lessons won a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Most of the time I try to work my way through the classic novels, like a perpetual grad student. Now and then I take a break for a novel by Anne Tyler, always a treat.