As I was reading this book the following questions popped kept popping up in my head: • Who is the intended audience for this book? • Is this satire? • WAs I was reading this book the following questions popped kept popping up in my head: • Who is the intended audience for this book? • Is this satire? • Why the reference in many reviews to “How to Get Into the Twin Palms?
For me this was a story of a self-contained community where the resident’s self-esteem is built on excluding others that were not of the same mold. Their pettiness, discrimination, arrogance and ignorance just wore on my nerves. It was really pitiful how they saw themselves as betters and morally superior to those not included in their circles and their circling reasoning that others were looking to “take something” from them. To illustrate these points the story centers on two characters – Cheryl, now a 40-something woman who married up and was never accepted by the community whose husband/marriage is over and Teddy, her stepson whose “luck” is on the downswing now that he does fit the physically fit and rising star model of the community.
As I read the story – I get saying – “duh” over and over as the storyline seemed to destruct as the characters seemed to hold on to their pasts and did not seem to understand the sayings – people smiling in your face as they work against you and you cannot make someone like/love you and now that this is not working out for you, you need to make the best deal for yourself so you can move on.
I think I needed to take that advice and have left this book alone. ...more
A multigenerational narrative set in Baltimore with an “Every Family” vibe where it “ordinariness” was both it great strength and greatest weakness foA multigenerational narrative set in Baltimore with an “Every Family” vibe where it “ordinariness” was both it great strength and greatest weakness for me. This was a relatable story for me as I thought there were many aspects of this family where the reader could see corresponding to their own family – elderly parents where it is becoming obvious will need additional support to continue to live in their home, several generations living in the same house (even if temporary) learning to live with each other style of living, each family member trying to find their identity within their family and the times they live in. etc. I thought the dialogue was well done and helped to keep me focused when reading this book. Shortly after I started reading the book had a definite women’s fiction feel for me and the ordinariness of the characters and situations had me wondering why the book is was selected to be in the Tournament of Books. While I do not expect to “like” every book nominated, I do expect to understand why the book was nominated even if it was my not my cup of tea. But the biggest weakness for me – is that nothing “hooked” me into the story/characters/situations. This was my first Anne Tyler book and has this book scarred me from reading another book by the author. Probably not but this book did give a taste of her writing style/storylines which is not necessarily the type of books that I seek out. I do think that bookclubs that enjoy reading women’s fiction, especially family dynamics storylines, will find much discuss. ...more