Peggy's Reviews > The Beginner's Goodbye

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
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May 05, 12

Read in May, 2012

I think this joins my top five favorite Anne Tyler novels. This book is impossible for me to "review" because you have to understand that Anne Tyler isn't just an author for me - she is perhaps an essential ingredient of life. Like air, water. I've always pondered what would be my desert island book or books and never doubted it would be an Anne Tyler, I just have trouble deciding on one. When I picked up the book I was disappointed because it's slight. Unlike longer works like Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant or Back When We Were Grownups I knew I wasn't going to be in the world of her characters for nearly long enough (as soon as I finished the book, I started it again). I'm still caught up in Aaron's world in the period after his wife dies. I love how the simplest gestures, bits of dialogue and descriptions are so ordinary and yet meaningful - the texture in lumpy cookies, the act of watering a lawn, the word "wincing" in conjunction with an older woman walking in high heels. The Beginner's Goodbye is a particularly delightful addition because I enjoy all the characters - that's not always the case with her characters. I miss them already.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Renata Peggy, I completely agree with you! I was a little reluctant to even begin the book because the last few have not resonated with me as much as many of her earlier books. Arron;s voice is strong and clear. He is fallible, he knows it! I love the way he is revealed to us bit by bit. I love the way he (or Tyler )reveals other characters to us in quick
little phrases and images. Yes, she had many likable characters here - I loved Gil and gentle way she developed his relationship with Nandina. I am thankful for her many years of providing me with characters to ponder.


Peggy Renata wrote: "Peggy, I completely agree with you! I was a little reluctant to even begin the book because the last few have not resonated with me as much as many of her earlier books. Arron;s voice is strong an..."

I can see that you are as much a fan as I am. No one writes like Anne Tyler. I appreciate her more with every year and I'm delighted by The Beginner's Goodbye. I don't think a day ever passes without my thinking of one of her characters...today it was Barnaby in Patchwork Planet.


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