Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dear Great Book Guru, Last weekend I was at a great Easter Gala with friends and family- the Dohertys, the DiPietros, the Calzonettis, and the Fossetts all were there when someone mentioned that she had just read a new book by Anne Tyler. Well, I love her- she's probably my favorite author but I have heard nothing about this latest work. Have you read it and if so would you recommend it? Devoted Fan of Anne

Dear Devoted, Anne Tyler is a huge favorite of mine too and this novel- BEGINNER'S GOODBYE- will not disappoint you. Set again in Baltimore with a grieving, damaged man as its hero, this latest work reminded me of so many of her previous books but as always there is interesting twist. Aaron is mourning his wife Dorothy who died suddenly when an ancient oak fell on their house crushing her. Looking back, he realizes their marriage was not particularly happy or rewarding but still he misses her desperately or… if not Dorothy, at least her presence. Well, he soon has that back because she begins appearing to him and questioning him about some of the truths that formed their marriage. As a publisher of a series of books for beginners such The Beginner's Guide to Surgery, The Beginner's Guide to Income Tax, and The Beginner's Guide to Gifts, Aaron wonders if he what he needs is a beginner's guide to goodbyes- learning to say goodbye to not just his wife but to the life he shared with her. There are many wonderful surprises in this book and, you are left to marvel at Tyler's ability in less than 200 pages to capture the ultimate grandeur of such flawed, quirky, but endearing characters.

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