Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler, A (Book Review) ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, October 05, 2007

Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler, A (Book Review)

Flash Review: Sympathy & Humor Meet "Gritty Realism"

Bet you didn't see this one coming. A recommendation by Eugene Peterson combined with a Jane Austen reference on the back cover drew me in. I read Anne Tyler's Back When We Were Grownups within a couple days, and I can’t say I’m disappointed.

Enjoying Emma and Persuasion seemed somewhat counterintuitive at the time, and Grownups was similar, only more so. What had I to do with a fat, widowed older woman? Not much, really, but I still cared about her.

That’s the genius of Tyler’s writing: characterization, dialogue, and motives spun with nuanced authenticity that convinces you without seeming to try. The conversations were so good I didn’t notice them. Likewise, the central premises, deftly developed: Has Rebecca become a person she doesn’t like? The fictional lives were so believable that they lost their artifice but remained intriguing. Anne Tyler is subtle and very, very good.

Domestic drama is seldom this fascinating.

Pray tell, is it on the celebrated Master Book List? Verily, it is. (With a head nod to Jane Austen and all great novels of manners.)

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Carole said...

I enjoyed reading your comments about. I blogged about this recently too at Book Lovers, Get Your English On ( Check it out!


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife