24 Aug 2012



Liam Pennywell has spent most of his life dodging issues and skirting adventure when suddenly, in his sixty-first year, something happens that jolts him out of his certainty and leaves him with a frightening gap in his memory. In trying to piece together what took place on his first night in a new apartment, Liam finds instead an unusual woman with secrets of her own, and a late-flowering love that brings its own thorny problems.
...... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): In the sixty-first year of his life, Liam Pennywell lost his job.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 94): It was way too hot for roast chicken, but he didn't know how to cook much of anything else. And Bundy was appreciative, since his fiancee fed him a steady diet of Lean Cuisines.

MY THOUGHTS: Still trying to figure out why I enjoyed this novel quite as much as I did. Must be the authors insight into the complexities of the human condition, her depiction of family relationships, as there isn't much to the story itself and as for the characters? Well written I agree but apart from main character, Liam, whom I found to be what I can only describe as an emotional cripple, the others, almost all women and most of them related to Liam in some way or another, largely disagreeable, all too easy to dislike, bullies.

Labelled as a comedy, though this was not without its profoundly wry and humorous moments, at times I found it if not exactly depressing than certainly sad. 

As I said I'm still trying to work out why I enjoyed this read as much as I did.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: A reading group read, I have no intention of buying a copy for the shelves.


Mary (Bookfan) said...

I've read a few of her novels and can understand why you're not sure you enjoyed this one. I've felt much the same way. This one is on my TBR list.

Jeannie said...

Sometimes it's enjoyable to just not like people - maybe this book gave you a good excuse - or maybe if the characters are all just a little icky, it makes you feel better about yourself and your own situation?

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Just because you liked it and can't figure out why makes me curious. I've run into that from time to time, and it does bother me. It doesn't sound like something I'd gravitate towards, but like I said... you made me curious. :)

DMS said...

I am intrigued by this one. It sounds interesting and the fact that you liked it, but can't put your finger on why interests me! I think this is one I will read.


Suko said...

Hmm...sounds like a book I'd also enjoy, although I might not be sure why, either. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Sounds interesting, though not exactly my cup of tea. Thanks for the book review!

Mama Zen said...

Hmmm. . . I might have to give this a look.

fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I am sorry that you didn't enjoy this book as much as you had anticipated.

I have read one or two of Anne Tyler's earlier books and have generally found them to be good reads.

She hasn't written an awful lot of late, so perhaps her style of writing hs changed a little, as I see that her latest book 'The Beginner's Goodbye', also sounds quite morose and morbid.

I hope that your next choice of book will be more to your liking.


naida said...

Interesting that you are still trying to figure out why you enjoyed this book so much :)

Dizzy C said...

Doesnt sound much like a comedy, maybe that is why you cannot understand why you liked it.

Have a good weekend, Tracy

carol x

dr.antony said...

Hi Tracy
Thanks for checking if I were around.
That is friendship,isnt it?

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Interesting review. Some books are just hard to explain why you did or did NOT like a book. Thanks for sharing.


Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

Well, glad that you enjoyed it despite its faults at least.

Kalyan said...

nice reading the review...looks a good one!

Jenners said...

Anne Tyler's books often feel that way to me. Is this your first one by her? I'd recommend exploring more … she has a unique and enjoyable voice.