One of eight Anne Tyler novels reissued in September 2008 with stunning new jackets
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and many other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, A Patchwork Planet, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America and The Beginner's Goodbye. In 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English' and in 2012 she received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime's achievement in books. In 2015 A Spool of Blue Thread was a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for both the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize. Her latest novel, Vinegar Girl, is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.
Delia Grinstead begins a new life in Tyler's (Saint Maybe, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/93) latest by simply walking away from her family's vacation at the beach. She spends the next year reinventing herself, no longer the doctor's faithful and timid wife, the dutiful mother of three, the practical sister. Finally, she discovers a life of her own; for the first time she is independent, away from the home and practice her husband inherited from her father. The detachment the author puts Delia through is common Tyler territory: at times surprising, at times perfectly mundane as Delia re-creates a life and an identity in almost idyllic Bayborough, Maryland. C.J. Critt gives her usual skillful narration. Tyler fans will appreciate the familiar twists on the commonplace and the author's endearing characters. For most public libraries.‘Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
At 40, Delia Grinstead seems more likely to have an attack of anxiety, or of whimsy, than to become a runaway wife. Yet, in Tyler's 13th beguiling novel, Delia's impulse to escape her disapproving physician husband and three surly children turns into an adventure that sweeps her from her staid Baltimore orbit into a new existence as Ms. Grinstead, spinster, in the Delaware community of Bay Borough. It's the unexamined life that's Delia's problem, and when she finally strips away layers of hurt, resentment, guilt and anger, she confronts her inner self and begins to deal with the chronic insecurity that has kept her childlike, flighty and dependent. Gradually, she becomes part of her new community, and has the courage to take a job caring for Noah Miller, an appealing 12-year-old whose mother has also run away from home and family. Over the course of a year, Delia discards her timorous personality and gains an understanding of the person she wants to be. One of the satisfactions of this novel is Tyler's evocation of typical family life. While in the past some of her characters have been too eccentric or fey, Delia and her family and friends all have both feet planted in the real world, even if their heads and hearts are sometimes elsewhere. Some readers may have difficulty accepting Delia's ability to absent herself from her children, but Tyler engages our sympathy and growing respect for a character who finally realizes that ``the ladder of years'' is a time trip to the future. BOMC main selection; major ad/promo; Random House Audio Book. (May)
"It is difficult to imagine a writer so prodigiously gifted" * Herald *
"Another winner from Anne Tyler" * Independent *
"Every scene breathes with intimacy. Lifelikeness almost lifts the characters off the page...scintillating with joie de vivre" * Sunday Times *
"Utterly compelling...wonderfully satisfying...virtually flawless" * Chicago Tribune *
"Anne Tyler is a writer of immaculate delicacy" * Observer *