Doreen's Reviews > Noah's Compass

Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

liked it
Recommended to Doreen by: meriden library book club selection
Recommended for: anyone looking for a quick read
Read from April 09 to 10, 2012

I liked this book well enough. The story moves along easily from Liam's 'forced' retirement at the book's beginning, to his profession as a 'zayda' at the book's conclusion.

Here is a man who has lived his life passively. He never is truly engaged in his relationships with family/friends, nor in his circumstances. Everything in his life simply 'happens', lacking any activity or thought from him. The book is a snippet in time, a window of only a few months from his life. This reminded me of Stewart O'Nan's writing, except (other than Liam) the characters weren't as well-developed.

There were several moments in the book that did give me pause, however. Anne Tyler mentions, Liam's annoyance that, "people implied you had to have a religion in order to hold to any standards". In another spot, she writes, that Liam realizes that he hasn't been "entirely present in my own life". Another such moment is Liam's thought that, "the trouble with discarding bad memories...good ones went with them". I liked these parts in the book. They gave some 'food for thought' and made me think of people and situations in my own life that fit these observations of his.

Like Noah, of Bible fame, Liam has no compass. He's not moving toward any specific destination. He just stays afloat, follows the tide, letting the world around him plot his life. Overall, I enjoyed the book and will most likely read more from Anne Tyler.

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Reading Progress

04/09/2012 page 73
25.0% "just started it...liking it so far"
04/09/2012 page 275
95.0% "nearly finished. an easy read.."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Saxton B. Little Staff I always feel like I should read Anne Tyler...what keeps me from her?

Doreen This is my first Anne Tyler. I decided to read it because it's the April book club selection for the Page Turners who meet at the Meriden Public Library each month. We'll meet this Thursday. I really look forward to it! Usually I'm scheduled to work when they meet, so this is a real treat.

Saxton B. Little Staff Let's us know how it is received!

Doreen There were only five people at book club this month. Everyone liked the book. It sparked conversation about Liam's personality, especially his passivity and his morals. He is undoubtedly a moral man, but his wishy-washiness (not a real word) had some of us pretty frustrated. More than one of us agreed that there are instances throughout the book when we just want to 'shake him'!
It was a fast, easy book to read. We all agreed we would definitely read more of Anne Tyler's books.

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