Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Armchair Novel Review: The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

by Anne Tyler
Hardcover, 208 pages
Also available as an eBook

Anne Tyler writes the most moving, touching, quirky characters and novels. Entering into her stories is a delight.

I first discovered her with The Accidental Tourist. Both the book and the movie were wonderful. (The book is better, of course!). You might remember her winning the the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons. She is definitely one of the finest novelists of our time.

The Beginner's Goodbye is her nineteenth novel.

Aaron, crippled from childhood and resentful of the ministrations of his sister and anyone else who tries to manage things for him, fell in love with a woman who was the opposite of all that. Independent herself, she worked hard and let him take care of his own life. Short and squat to his long, lean frame, somewhat older and a little on the frumpy side, Dorothy was exactly what he needed in his life. They may have been an odd looking couple, but they loved each other.

But the comfort of their partnership was short-lived. A tragic accident took Dorothy's life and Aaron was left alone again. Lost in grief and confusion, he drifts through the first few months without her. Then she returns. Just for a moment here and there at first, finally for longer periods of time. Aaron is able to learn from his time with her; about himself, about his late wife, and about life.

A beautifully poignant book that will stay with you.

Publishers Weekly wrote: "This is no Gothic ghost story nor chronicle of a man unraveling in his grief, but rather an uplifting tale of love and forgiveness. By the end of this wonderful book, you've lived the lives and loves of these characters in the best possible way."

Browse the book here: