Thursday, March 29, 2012


I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

Anne Tyler's slim new novel delves into the many aspects of grief and how it can sometimes make us a little crazy.  Aaron was left cripple by a childhood illness and spent his childhood being controlled by an overprotective sister.  When he meets Dorothy, an independent and strong doctor, he believe he has found the perfect match.  Their marriage proves to be perfectly pleasant and unremarkable until the day a tree lands on their house and kills Dorothy. Aaron is left reeling by the loss of his wife until she starts "appearing" to him.  These appearances lead him through the various stages of grief and into some surprising self-revelation.

I loved Tyler's unusual take on grief.  Unexpected death can change our relationship with a lost loved one in more ways than one.  It might make us romanticize their lives or cause us to focus on the most mudane of details.  I think the process of Aaron's grief is both fascinating and moving.  It often goes in unexpected directions as we follow his progress in dealing with his loss while finding a way to live in the world again.  I only found myself wanting a bit more to the story. The whole tale is so brief!

BOTTOM LINE:  Recommended.  An unusual take on grief and loss from a very talented writer.

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