Book Review

by Anne Tyler

Genre: Mainstream

2004 Best Women's Fiction Novel Nominee

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Award-winning author Tyler's latest is a deeply moving, yet hauntingly chilling, novel of a wartime marriage and its impact on generations to come.

The rise and descent of their marriage is as traumatic as it is illuminating, riveting readers to a time when marriages were often made in haste, sometimes resulting in untenable family situations, with divorce a rare option.

It is the tale of Pauline and Michael Anton, who meet during the fervor of World War II and hastily marry after Michael's early discharge from the Army. The couple moves into a small apartment with Michael's somewhat difficult mother.

With the birth of their three children and the subsequent move to the suburbs, the volatile arguments between Michael and Pauline become more frequent. Michael, a deeply thoughtful man, realizes that he and Pauline never were very compatible. But when oldest daughter Lindy leaves home, ending up in San Francisco with a child of her own, Michael and Pauline rescue their young grandson from a vacant apartment, while Lindy stays at a Haight-Ashbury detox.

When the 30-year celebration of their marriage ends in disaster, Michael and Pauline must move on, raising their grandson and reconnecting with their children.

(Jan., 304 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed By: Sheri Melnick

Publisher: Knopf

Published: January 2004

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