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not one of her best novels
on 18 June 2009
An early novel of Anne Tyler (1972) and not, to my mind, in the same league as the more recent Digging to America, Back When We Were Grownups or The Accidental Tourist.
Anne Tyler write the kind of novel that could have come from the 19th century, the equivalent of a few families in a country village with essentially everyday happenings and a style of writing that is elegant but far from flamboyant.
The success of a novel of this kind depends on getting the plotting, the mis-en-scene and the characterisation right. Often she succeeds - I'd recommend strongly any of the novels I've mentioned above. This time out, I'd say her success was mixed - do the characters really add up, does the plotting make sense - it does have some unexpected turns - and somehow I think she should stick to Baltimore.
This is highly readable and enjoyable. But not one of her best novels.