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She spends the rest of the novel attempting to answer these questions--and trying to resurrect her older, extinguished self. Should she take up the research she began back in college on Robert E. Lee's motivation for joining the Confederacy? More to the point, should she take up with her college sweetheart, who's now divorced and living within easy striking range? None of these quick fixes pans out exactly as Rebecca imagines. What she emerges with is a kind of radiant resignation, best expressed by 100-year-old Poppy on his birthday: "There is no true life. Your true life is the one you end up with, whatever it may be." A tautology, perhaps, but Tyler's delicate, densely populated novel makes it stick.
Yes, Poppy. There are also characters named NoNo, Biddy, and Min Foo--the sort of saccharine roll call that might send many a reader scampering in the opposite direction. But Tyler knows exactly how to mingle the sweet with the sour, and in Back When We Were Grownups she manages this balancing act like the old pro she is. Even the familiar backdrop--shabby-genteel Baltimore, which resembles a virtual game preserve of Tylerian eccentrics--seems freshly observed. Can any human being really resist this novel? It is, to quote Rebecca, "a report on what it was like to be alive," and an appealingly accurate one to boot. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
GOOD DESCRIPTION OF MIDDLE CLASS LIFE IN BALTIMORE IN THE 1950'S AND 60'SPublished 1 month ago by Gaye R. Olsen
I've bought this book in both hard copy and Kindle. One of my very favorite books ever. Simply love Rebecca... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jesse Joren
I love Anne Tyler books! They never disappoint. There is always the quirky Baltimore housewife. But each time she is subtly different and her problems are unique. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carol Cohen
This may not be a fair review since I didnt read the book... I made it to page 2 before realizing there were main characters named "NoNo" and "Patch" these arent... Read morePublished 1 month ago by CARMEN
Although this is a good novel, I did not find it as compelling as her earlier books. I found the characters difficult to identify with or care very much about. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marcia B. Cohen
A new favorite author.
This is my first book by this author. I have since checked out two more from the library. I was reminded of Mauve Binchey while reading this book. Read more