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on 30 April 2013
which sort of carries you along. Anne Tyler has a very deep understanding of human relationships which she can put into very good narrative. Will buy more of her books!
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on 30 June 2015
A good clean copy at a good price and speedily delivered. What's not to like! Have not yet had a chance to read it but I am definitely an Anne Tyler fan.
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on 3 July 2013
I love all Anne Tyler's books - her characterss are interesting and real, and every sstory keeps me engrossed, without being anxious.
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Most people love a lover. Also, most of us would like more love in our lives. If you read nonfiction books on the subject, they tell you to be more loving to others to receive more love in return. But most of us feel frustrated in that quest. What would it be like to pursue love in a more unrestricted way? That's the subject of Breathing Lessons.
Now, this could be a pretty heavy subject so Ms. Tyler wisely chooses to leaven her lessons with humor. Her protagonist, Maggie Morgan, will remind many of other fictional characters beginning with the lovable red head, Lucy Ricardo, in I Love Lucy. Those who have Dreamed the Impossible Dream while watching Man of La Mancha (or while reading Don Quixote) will recognize elements of Don Quixote in her character. The humor plays the same role that the fools play in Shakespeare's tragedies, to lighten the atmosphere from profoundly sad situations.
Maggie is a klutz who doesn't let her klutziness stop her. She's a one-woman pile driver intent on her purposes of spreading love and connection among all she meets. Her husband, Ira, plays the foil (the Desi Ricardo/Sancho Panza role) to help us know what the real situation is. Ira is almost all reason while Maggie is almost all love. You will find Ira to be interesting for examples of how reason needs to accommodate love.
Breathing Lessons shows a typical day for Maggie and Ira in an atypical environment . . . while on an out-of-town trip on a Saturday for a memorial service for the husband of Maggie's old friend. That environment turns the day into a quest (like Don Quixote) and they meet many interesting characters on whom Maggie has an unforgettable impact.
Many will look for a heroic ending featuring accomplishment. But did Don Quixote have such an ending? Ms. Tyler redefines heroism in terms of continuing to love and hope for the best . . . even when everything crumbles into dust. I think anyone will be inspired by the example of Maggie to do the right thing.
As you probably know, this book won a Pulitzer Prize which it certainly deserved. Seldom has a book created such a new an ennobling expression of human potential in the context of our all-too-human tendency to err.
Many will find Maggie's klutziness to be overdone . . . and possibly annoying. I, too, found it a little overdone, but enjoyed the book nevertheless. Ms. Tyler doesn't want us to miss the point that we should make the most of our talents . . . however modest or great they are.
Nice job, Ms. Tyler!
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on 28 June 2016
Wonderful writer and matchless at bringing her characters to life. I'd give all her books 20 stars if I could.
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on 21 June 2016
Did not care for the format of all taking lace in one day. Inevitably this leads to interrtion in main plot
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on 17 July 2015
Love Ann Tyler novels .She brings her characters alive and explores the minutiae of every day life.
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on 28 October 2015
Another finely wrought story packed with simple observations and emotional realism
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on 20 May 2015
One of the best from one of the best living novelists.
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on 15 August 2015
Excellent view, as usual, of family relationships.
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