Sunday, April 3, 2022

 Dear Great Book Guru,  I was at an Oscars party and the talk of the night was not the winning films but…. Anne Tyler’s latest novel!  Everyone was very positive. Your thoughts? Oscar Partygoer

Dear Oscar Partygoer,  Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Anne Tyler and have read all  24 of her novels – some more than once.  FRENCH BRAID is her latest and one of my favorites. Tyler tells the story of the Garrett family over many generations. The novel opens in  2010 as two cousins meet in a train station and are not sure they know each other. When did the family seem to lose touch with each other? Quickly we are transported back to 1959 as the Garretts take their first and last family vacation. We learn that the parents Robin and Mercy and children Alice, Lily, and David are having a pretty miserable time. We come to realize the events of this vacation will reverberate for decades to come. Each chapter brings new insights into the complex relationships of the parents and siblings. The details of their lives are both humorous and heartbreaking. Tyler uses small, intimate vignettes to capture each of the character’s role in this family saga. It is only in the closing pages in 2021, do we see the depth and complexity of their love and the importance of the book’s title. Not to be missed- highly recommended!


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