Wednesday, 28 February 2007


AUTHOR: Anne Tyler


DATE READ: June 2006

NOTES: Macon and Sarah have lost a child, Ethan, who was murdered in a robbery at a store. This tragedy has torn them apart and Sarah decides to leave. Macon is a very quirky person, unconventional and unsociable. Likes everything to be very controlled and organized. He works as a travel guide writer for business men who really don’t want to be away from home. Advises on how to cope in strange cities by keeping everything as similar as possible to life at home.

However his dog is uncontrollable and frequently attacks people and this is how he comes to meet Muriel who works as a dog trainer. She is the opposite of him – casual, untidy, talkative and sociable. He is drawn to her and her child, Alexander, a weakly child who warms to Macon gradually. However he is still drawn to his wife and eventually they move in together again. Muriel follows him to Paris (she had said that she wanted to go with him on his next trip) and hopes to make things work again. However because Macon hurts his back his wife flies out to be with him. Macon soon realises that their relationship is not what he wants and he misses the chaos of life with Muriel.

A super read. Beautiful characterisations – everyone is believable. Macon’s heartbreak at losing his son and his genuine confusion about life in general is well drawn. There is a heartwarming subplot of his siblings.

What a great storyteller Anne Tyler is!

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