Rebecca's Reviews > Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
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it was amazing
bookshelves: absolute-favorites, reviewed-for-blog, linked-short-stories

My overall most memorable fiction read of the year. I’ve been lukewarm on Anne Tyler’s novels before – this is my sixth from her – but this instantly leapt onto my list of absolute favorite books. Its chapters are like perfectly crafted short stories focusing on different members of the Tull family. These vignettes masterfully convey the common joys and tragedies of a fractured family’s life. After Beck Tull leaves with little warning, Pearl must raise Cody, Ezra and Jenny on her own and struggle to keep her anger in check. Cody is a vicious prankster who always has to get the better of good-natured Ezra; Jenny longs for love but keeps making bad choices. Despite their flaws, I adored these characters and yearned for them to sit down, even just the once, to an uninterrupted family dinner of comfort food.
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Reading Progress

September 28, 2015 – Shelved
September 28, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
October 15, 2017 – Started Reading
November 1, 2017 – Shelved as: on-hold
November 20, 2017 – Shelved as: absolute-favorites
November 20, 2017 – Finished Reading
December 27, 2017 – Shelved as: reviewed-for-blog
January 9, 2018 – Shelved as: linked-short-stories

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Lynn I love The Accidental Tourist and Breathing Lessons, then everything goes down hill. She became formulaic.


message 2: by Canadian (new)

Canadian You certainly have persisted, and it looks like it paid off! Good to know there’s a satisfying one of hers. I’ve only read A Spool of Blue Thread and found it very bland.


Rebecca That was the second one I read by her, I think, and I'd agree it was pretty dull. The Accidental Tourist is my other favorite so far.


Susan Celestial Navigation. Saint Maybe. These are other high points if you haven't read them. I've always been a wee bit more partial to Searching for Caleb because it was my first Tyler and no one else loves it as much as I do, but I recognize Dinner as the stronger novel. They are my all-time favorites.


Rebecca Thanks! I have a copy of Saint Maybe. I don't think I'd even heard of the other two!


Rebecca Lynn wrote: "I love The Accidental Tourist and Breathing Lessons, then everything goes down hill. She became formulaic."

I have a copy of Breathing Lessons. I look forward to that one.


message 7: by Suzy (new)

Suzy This is the novel that introduced me to Tyler - I read it when it was first published and loved it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. You're reminding me that I have a copy in audio that I've been intending to listen to.


Alison S This is one of my favourite authors. I can also recommend Back when we were grownups and A patchwork planet.


Glenn Sumi Rebecca: So glad you loved this one! Even though it was the first Tyler novel I read (I’ve since read 7 or 8 others), it’s still my favourite. Glad to know it holds up. I just picked up a first edition hardcover at a bookstore, so I’m due for a reread. Not sure if you’ve read them, but I highly recommend Breathing Lessons, The Accidental Tourist and The Amateur Marriage. And her first book, If Morning ever Comes (written when she was in her early 20s!) is solid and shows off her natural gifts as a writer.


message 10: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope I have this on my shelves... Your succinct but enthusiastic review reminds me I have to pull it out.


Rebecca Glenn wrote: "Rebecca: So glad you loved this one! Even though it was the first Tyler novel I read (I’ve since read 7 or 8 others), it’s still my favourite. Glad to know it holds up."

Ah, you did it the right way round and started with her best! The Accidental Tourist is my second favourite thus far. I have copies of Breathing Lessons and The Amateur Marriage and look forward to them. I saw a copy of her first novel in a secondhand bookstore earlier in the year and couldn't believe how young she looked -- but still with the same hairstyle :)


Rebecca Kalliope wrote: "I have this on my shelves... Your succinct but enthusiastic review reminds me I have to pull it out."

Thank you so much! I do hope you enjoy it.


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