Saturday, 2 May 2009

Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

In the middle of a boisterous extended family Rebecca, in her 50s, wonders how she got to this part of her life and wonders who she really is and is this really the life she expected. Anne Tyler opens the novel with the sentence "Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person"

Growing up as an only child in a small town it was assumed that Rebecca would marry her childhood sweetheart but she meets and marries, in a heartbeat, Joe Davitch, a divorcee with three children. A few years later she is widowed when he dies in a car accident and now with four young children she takes charge of the family business. The years roll by and now a grandmother she is still at the centre of the family and its party function business. She wonders what happened to Will, her old college boyfriend and how her life might have been had she made different choices so she decides to contact him. While this inner turmoil is going on the house is in need of continual repair, her stepdaughter's third child to her third husband is due and Uncle Poppy's hundredth birthday party has to be arranged.

This is an effortless Anne Tyler page turner she does so well. Nothing much appears to happen and yet lives, emotions and the nature of identity are examined.

Verdict: Good Read

No comments: