14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
You Won't Regret It,
This review is from: Digging to America (Hardcover)
The first time I read an Anne Tyler novel (The Accidental Tourist), I'd heard so much about her that I found myself waiting to be impressed. That was a mistake, because if you're looking for something showy, something that proclaims itself to be 'literature', you won't find it. I finished the novel thinking 'is that IT?'; wondering what all the fuss was about. Then over the next couple of weeks pieces of it came back to me periodically, and I realised I felt a huge nostalgia for the characters and situations, and gradually it dawned on me that the structure of this apparently free-floating novel was absolutely flawless. I wasn't too proud to admit the error of my ways, and have gained immeasurable pleasure from Anne Tyler's novels since.
Digging to America is no exception: the observations and perspectives offered are endlessly fascinating, and the ways that 9/11 has wrought change in the US are subtly evoked. The ways that people from different cultures, and from the same families, tiptoe around each other in the daily process of sharing space and time, are beautifully observed. This is a generous and compassionate novel, and you could hardly spend the time it takes to read it doing anything more worthwhile.