Ladder of Years
BALTIMORE WOMAN DISAPPEARS DURING FAMILY VACATION, declares the headline. Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead is last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To her husband and thr...more
Anne Tyler has been around a long time and when her books first came out I read them religiously, but I finally lost interest after "Accidental Tourist." "Ladder of Years" reminded me of why.
When Tyler first started publishing in 1964, there was something fresh and unusual about her style. She didn't judge her characters; didn't seem to be using them to symbolize anything. She simply seemed to like her characters, there was affection for them on the page. At the time...more
I got it as a book club selection and fell in love instantly. There is something romantic about just quietly walking off one day, leaving it all behind to start anew. How would you get along without your comfortable life and surroundings? Could you do it on your own?
Would you go back?
Wow, I seem to like kidnappings and runaway stories. Hmmm do I have abandonment issues?
I read this book at least once a year. I...more
As a writer, I don't have a problem with almost any theme, because for me, it's how the story is told. Not everyone is going to like every book, no matter how well written, no matter how much mass appeal. Such is virtually impossible.
In this book, the main character, Delia Grinstead, decides to walk away from her life as she knows it. Delia is on the beach with her family an...more
I am a big fan of Anne Tyler's writing. Her characters are endearingly flawed and this protagonist is no exception. I don't have much good or bad to say about this book. I wish it had ended differently, but this is why I am saying that I might feel differently in 10 years. The resolution was expected. The character did the right thing, but just because a person's absence causes necessary changes, doesn't mean i...more
The characters are well-developed over time, and described in an amusing tone of voice. "Her hair curled at the bottom like the S-hole in a violin" (paraphrase) comes to mind first.
I particularly appreciated how the protagonist comes to terms...more
Uno dei migliori della Tyler, senza dubbio.
Although a little far-fetched at times, I couldn't help but r...more
The truth is, Tyler better captures more than almost any other author the inner lives of regular folks. I was surprised to find myself and constantly eager to find out what would happen to the protagonist, Delia, after she walks out on her family.
Delia's motivations are in no way cardboard, as they might be in the hands of a lesser novelist. They a...more
I do know that the writing here i...more
With that being said, by the middle of the book I was screaming in my head, "They are your children, no matter what, they are your children! You have to go back to them. No matter how old they are, they are your children." I could understand why she wasn't responding to her husband, he should have asked her to come home. Honestly...more
This is an intriguing page-turner, centered around themes of abandonment and identity. The protagonist, Delia, is a stranger to both her family and herself, which results in a painful quest to find what is missing.
This novel runs the gamut of being quirky and humorous to being downright depressing and dark. What Delia does, and how her family responds, is just. . . sad.
Delia is, at t...more
With Anne Tyler, there is always some sort of dysfunction. It's not that there is a beat of different drummer, but that the drummer is uneven and inconsistent. Delia Grinstead, wife and mother of three children soon to leave the nest, just wanders off while the family is at the beach on their annual vacation. In the newspaper article on the first page, the family is unabl...more
It was total karma as the local bookcrossers then decided to make it our bookcrossing meet up bookclub book - which we will discuss at the next meeting.
This book really struck a chord with me. The way a Mum can be so invisible that when she goes missing they can't even remeber her eye and hair colour, let alone what she was wearing. ( I know t...more
Tyler's witty style is always enjoyable. But through her humor, you see the frustration and anger Delia felt when everything she did for her family just didn't seem to be enough. And if you are a woman, you may ha...more