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Tyler makes things look so easy that she never gets enough credit, yet she portrays everyday Americans with such humor, grace and, ultimately, emotional force that her books are always deeply satisfying. In Saint Maybe her protagonist Ian Bedloe, stricken with guilt over the death of his older brother, raises three children unrelated to him by blood. He is strengthened in this Herculean task by the storefront Church of the Second Chance, to which he devotes himself with equal fervor. Someone once said all great writers are comic writers. Among living Americans, Tyler is exhibit A. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Although Tyler ( Breathing Lessons ; Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant ) is again writing about families--the way they cleave together in times of trouble and muddle through with stoic courage--her eminently satisfying new novel breaks her familiar mold, giving us ordinary, not eccentric characters who are shaped by disastrous events into quietly heroic behavior. The Bedloes are cheerful and count their blessings, even if they are far from rich and live on a slightly seedy street in Baltimore. But when 17-year-old Ian rashly informs his older brother Dan that the latter's wife was undoubtedly pregnant before their marriage, Dan commits suicide, and Ian is left with profound guilt--especially since Dan's wife dies soon after. Asking God's forgiveness, he receives spiritual guidance at the endearingly shabby Church of the Second Chance. He drops out of college, becomes a carpenter and helps his parents care for the three orphaned children; as the years pass, that burden falls primarily on Ian's shoulders. Wondering when God will signal that his atonement can end, Ian has an epiphany: "You could never call it a penance, to have to care for those three." Ian eventually does construct a life for himself, in one of Tyler's most appealing endings. The narrative also enjoys her whimsical humor (although the group role of the "foreigners" who live in the neighborhood verges on caricature). Since her characters' foibles never overwhelm their homespun simplicity, the reader is emotionally involved and touched as never before. 250,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; first serial to the New Yorker.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An old favorite of mine. I live next to the library but had to have this one for my own.Published 15 days ago by JANET C. PIERCE
Anne Tyler takes the long view of families. We're used to books that show us a short period of time where lots of exciting things happen and lives change. Read morePublished 3 months ago by pnoyce2
A little slow starting, but it improves as it progresses. Haven,t read any other of her books, so don't know how this compares.Published 3 months ago by local church
The ending came out of nowhere. The book was going along and all of a sudden, it ended in one big disappointment.Published 3 months ago by Joanne Gordon
Several themes powerfully developed, including considering who is an insider and who an outsider. As an example, the "foreigners" are presented humorously as outsiders, yet the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Laura A. Csellak