Ellen's Reviews > Noah's Compass

Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
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's review
Jan 13, 2010

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bookshelves: contemporary, baltimore

Like Liam, the protagonist of Noah's Compass, I am facing retirement. Maybe that's why I found the book depressing. I hope that when I leave my long-held job, I won't find myself taking up a smaller and smaller space in the world. One of Liam's relatives, (daughter? sister?), tells him that she suspects he has calculated that he can make his current wardrobe last until his death. And she's right. Liam is constricting.

Luckily he finds a retirement goal--recapturing the memory of an assault which occurred on his first night in his minimal post-layoff apartment. In search of the stolen hours of his life, he actually takes just enough initiative to meet a woman who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, finds him appealing.

And the daughters and grandson he's kept at arms length are popping up in his life, first to look after him, then to be looked after by him. They're not brilliant or gorgeous or scintillating conversationalists, but they do keep him company, and maybe that's what pulls the book out of the dumps for me. Liam's a private, modest, introvert, but even he is better off with a little company.
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Reading Progress

January 13, 2010 – Shelved
January 13, 2010 –
page 91
Started Reading
January 21, 2010 – Finished Reading
February 27, 2010 – Shelved as: contemporary
February 27, 2010 – Shelved as: baltimore

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

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol Great review, Ellen. With so many books out there, we readers need more than Oprah to help us decide what we want to spend time with. You could review online from the perspective of a retired person, who may just choose some different books from Oprah's. I'm definitely going to get a copy of Noah's Compass.

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