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Toujours partir = Earthly Possessions

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  2,328 ratings  ·  98 reviews
"To read a novel by Anne Tyler is to fall in love."

PEOPLE

Charlotte Emory has always lived a quiet, conventional life in Clarion, Maryland. She lives as simply as possible, and one day decides to simplify everything and leave her husband. Her last trip to the bank throws Charlotte's life into an entirely different direction when a restless young man in a nylon jacket takes
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Published (first published 1977)
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Zuberino
"The marriage wasn't going well and I decided to leave my husband."

So begins Anne Tyler's story of a woman named Charlotte, 35, from a small town in Maryland, sometime in the mid-1970s. A tale of ordinary people, with all the strengths and limitations that implies. Tyler has been ploughing this soil for well on 40 years now, and this is one of her earlier works, her seventh novel. Admittedly, she is no Updike - not such a showy stylist at any rate (but then who is?) - nonetheless, her prose has
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Zoeytron
Earthly Possessions was published in 1977. It is refreshing to read a book that is not set in the past, yet is without references to our modern conveniences because they simply weren't around yet. No GPS, no texting, no cell phones, nary a microwave in sight.

Charlotte Emory has felt trapped pretty much all of her life. Growing up with her mother sighing and complaining that her own baby was switched with the wee baby Charlotte shortly after birth, it's not much of a reach to think she felt as t
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Ali
This is really a charming and poignant novel. Like so many other Anne Tyler novels I have read it is the wonderful characters she creates that make it so memorable. What was most interesting to me was Charlotte's view of herself, and how she views her childhood. Both Charlotte and Jake have an obession with the past, Jake's memories of his friend Oliver bringing him up short when he is suddenly brought face to face with a 26 year old married man he no longer recognises, Charlotte with the idea t ...more
Tonya
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Anne Tyler is a constant. Good solid writing with a lovely story albeit sometimes tragic in theme. earthly possessions is no different. A bank robber and his hostage learn they're not so different when they're caught in a car for weeks running from the law. I loved the robustness of the characters and the many comical moments. Read it if you need a book that doesn't make you work too hard.
Cathryn Conroy
Anne Tyler creates characters that are so well-developed they seemingly pop off the page and inhabit your life. When her characters sing, you can hear them; when they cry, you want to hand them a tissue; when they laugh, you can't help but feel their joy. This is the genius of Anne Tyler. Short on plot (who needs it?), this book resonates through all its quirky characters, as seen through the eyes of Charlotte Emory. Her husband, their two children, her mother, the husband's three brothers and a ...more
Tania
This is my fourth Anne Tyler novel, and although I liked it a bit better than The Tin Can Tree, it is still not on par with Breathing Lessons or The Accidental Tourist. I somewhat liked the character of Charlotte, but she wasn't as sympathetic to me as other Tyler heroines. I could, however, relate to her dissatisfaction with life - I just wished she'd do more, be more proactive, and not complain so much.

That said, Tyler give a clear glimpse into her family life, which made it possible to compr
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Amy
I picked this up at the library because I had read and liked several of Anne Tyler's more recent novels, but hadn't read any of her older ones. I read this one in just a couple of days, and enjoyed it. In every single Anne Tyler novel I've read, the plot/theme/central idea is pretty much the same: main character--always with an offbeat life, and surrounded by an offbeat collection of characters--is dissatisfied and unfulfilled in her life, undergoes some sort of life-changing experience, and com ...more
Bev
A paperback copy of this book was given to me by one of my favorite college professors, Barbara Mallonee, after I finished a writing course with her. She wrote a note in it saying that from what she knew of me, she thought I would like the writing of Anne Tyler. I have to thank her for introducing me to Anne and for being such a wonderful, inspiring teacher. She is one of the role models I used when I decided to become a teacher myself.
Mary
Mar 22, 2014 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
At thirty-five years old, Charlotte Emory has always lived a quiet, conventional life in Clarion, Maryland. She lives as simply as possible, but being a pastor's wife, especially when she isn't all that religious herself, is particularly hard on her. Her husband Saul, is a man who truly lives his faith, opening his doors to the downtrodden and those most in need; but for Charlotte, her life has become extremely unhappy.

Seeking to simplify everything, Charlotte decides one day to leave her husban
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David Jay
Anne Tyler is probably my favorite contemporary author and I think that she gets better with each book. Until now, I had never read anything written before "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant," written in the 1980s. This book was written in the late 1970s and you can see that she wasn't yet the writer that she came to be.

This book is very reminiscent of her brilliant 1995 book "Ladder of Years." In "Ladder of Years," a wife and mother is on a family vacation on the beach and simply walks away; fr
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Sonja
I almost put this one down a couple of times... Don't know if I was disturbed by the fact that Charlotte was so passive, or the fact that I was seeing more and more of her traits in my life.

Glad I saw it through to the end. once again Anne Tyler is a wonderful writer and pulls you in to her characters... whether you like them or not.

This book has made me look at my life in a whole new light. I too am a 'coaster'. I coast by daily, letting others push or pull me in the direction that suits them.
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Stacy
Okay, I usually start with what I liked about the book, but I must start with the part that gave me the most trouble. The hostage plot device made me roll my eyes in annoyance for the first fourth of the book. This book was published in 1977, before cell phones but certainly not before common sense. It really isn’t until you get further into the book and had time to reflect that the things that annoyed me about her being a way-too-accomodating hostage were the same things that made her life stor ...more
Sue
Charlotte, who narrates this story, is about to leave her husband. As she waits in line at the bank to withdraw some cash, she gets caught up in an armed bank raid and is then taken hostage by the robber, whose name is Jake.

In typical Anne Tyler style, Charlotte and Jake then spend the rest of the book driving to Florida. Alternating chapters tell us what's happening, and snippets from Charlotte's past, right back to her childhood. Through their conversations, actions and the flashbacks we learn
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Angie
I loved The Accidental Tourist, and I think Anne Tyler is incredibly talented. But this one fell flat for me, and I decided there are too many great books out there to bother forcing myself to finish it. So I still don't have any clue what "unexpected fate" Charlotte and the man in the nylon jacket met, and that's just fine with me. (It feels so good to say that! I never used to be able to give up on books in the past. But my reading time is precious, and I need to spend it wisely.)

It was hard t
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Cora
I read this book for my English class. We talked a lot about identity but I didn't really think that deeply about it. It was a semi-interesting story but not something I would have chosen for myself. There is not much action besides Charlotte being kidnapped. She takes the whole situation very lightly and her and Jake end up becoming sort of friends. It was a weird dynamic. Other than that the whole story was pretty mellow.
Andrea
Probably the funniest Anne Tyler book I have ever read! Charlotte is hilarious as a woman who is kidnapped during a bank robbery. She recently decided to leave her husband and almost succeeds in driving her kidnapper crazy! The two head across the country in an adventure that is both hilarious and exciting.
Mary Wilt
Funny, poignant, earlier novel by Anne Tyler full of the usual offbeat characters reacting to the burden of living with and loving other humans. Not in Tyler's top ten, I don't think, but still enjoyable for the author's ability to weave wit and quirkiness with pain and sudden insight into human character.
Esther
This is the kind of book I am sure I will not like. And while I am reading it the characters annoy me and the main female protagonist is too passive. I wish the story had more verve to it . But somehow Anne Tyler's writing captures me and I end the book feeling that I have enjoyed it in a sad sort of way. ...more
Reba
I read this book back in college back when I was reading a lot of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Although I love those authors, the subject matter of their works is intense. Earthly Possessions was such a refreshing detour! There were times when I laughed out loud. Sadly, I do not have a copy as it was an assignment in class and the book was not yet published, so we read photocopied pages of the book. I ended up reading another of Anne's books, Breathing Lessons, a few years later. I also enjoy ...more
Joanna
Really enjoyed this one. I like the way the story unfolds between present and past and the indications that the narrator's perception of reality is just a little bit off. It makes you think about your own truths and wonder a bit.
Ayla
Charlotte Emory ups and leaves her husband one day - goes to the bank to withdraw some cash, but the bank is held up and she's taken hostage. Earthly Possessions is full of typical Anne Tyler quirky characters - people who are at the same time very ordinary and very extraordinary, and how within families, they connect up sometimes whether they like it or no'. Book takes you on two journeys - one in with Charlotte in the car with her hostage-taker Jake Simms on mad dash to Florida - and the secon ...more
Travis
Bought on a whim in the 25-cent bin but it treated me well, alternating a kidnapping drama & domestic seething. Southern in a rare, quiet & non-grotesque way.

"I saw that all of us lived in a sort of web, criss-crossed by strings of love and need and worry. Linus cocked his head and searched our faces; Amos sent his music calling through the house. Selinda was floating free now in her early teens, but still kept touching down to make sure of us at unexpected moments. And Julian had a way
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Carol Stowe
A woman who drifts along in life, overcoming other people's obstacles, dreams of traveling unencumbered all over the country. When she married her husband moved into her mother's house and now she lives there with him, his brothers who have come back to town, and an assortment of strangers. When she is kidnapped at a bank and begins traveling with the kidnapper. she actually helps him sort out his life. Does she continue to travel alone or does she go back to her husband and his siblings? You wi ...more
Bcroak50
Easy read, but not as good as Digging to America. You can tell that it is one of Anne Tyler's early works.
Caroline
Creepy - didn't like at all
Keri
Mar 01, 2009 Keri rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Keri by: Ann
I enjoyed reading this book, but the main character drove me crazy. (This is unusual for me. Generally I fall in love with the characters before the books.) I couldn't stand her relationship with her husband and her inability to assert herself. However, the book was interesting to read, and I liked discussing it in book club. I found the flashbacks of her life more interesting than the narrative arc of being taken hostage. I can't recommend this one with rave reviews, but I will say that I liked ...more
Eccentrika
In questo libro la Tyler sceglie di sperimentare una trama un po' diversa suoi standard, con un po' più d'azione, ma in fin dei conti non quanta ce ne sarebbe voluta, dato che decide di alternare a ogni capitolo di storia presente un capitolo di ricordi che appesantiscono un po' il tutto. In definitiva non male come idea, ma il risultato è decisamente meno brillante di altri suoi libri, i personaggi sono meno sfaccettati, i continui ritorni al passato noiosi e poco interessanti. Esperimento non ...more
Felicity
Another good book from Anne Tyler. I got in to it straight away as it starts with someone being held hostage. Charlotte Emery is 35 and has always felt like running away. She then gets her wish by being held hostage but of course it's not all she thought it was going to be.

Anne Tyler explores relationships, death and marriage how we all need to stand back sometimes to appreciate how lucky we are and that we are loved.

A good solid book but I got a bit bored halfway through.
Penni
Needing something to read and loving Anne Tyler, I pulled this off the library shelf. When later I opened it, it was familiar and I realized I had already read it. I kept going to be sure, and because I didn't remember how it came out. Well, last time I started it, I didn't finish it. From the first chapter you may jump to the conclusion that this is a certain kind of book, but give it time. It's Anne Tyler all the way. Characters moving slowly and humanly toward self awareness.
Stephanie Holcomb
Just horrible.

I am done with Anne Tyler.

I got through half of it and really, a man kidnaps a woman and she...LETS HIM? What? I don't care how nice he is, he still kidnaped her. Anne Tyler is still glamorizing (even though it wasn't "glamorous" per se) kidnapping. What the freaking hell?

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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. The Beginner's Goodbye is Anne Tyler's nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and ...more
More about Anne Tyler...
The Accidental Tourist Breathing Lessons Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Digging to America Saint Maybe

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