The Beginner's Goodbye

The Beginner's Goodbye

by Anne Tyler

Gail Reid (06/16/12): Aaron Woolcott works with his controlling sister Nandina in the family publishing company. It's a vanity press with one exception. Years ago, they started a line of beginners' books that spawned an endless (and, often humorous) series of beginner titles.

When Aaron marries a woman, so different from himself, his sister and colleagues are puzzled. Aaron loves Dorothy for her differences. She is older, plain, committed to her medical career, direct and non-controlling -- the opposite of his overbearing sister. When a freak accident kills Dorothy, Aaron's life is shattered until she amazingly returns for very brief and unpredictable visits. These interludes help Aaron shed light on their marriage and propel him forward through the next passage of grief.

Anne Tyler's novels feature many qualities that readers and fans (like me) enjoy. Her quirky characters, smart dialogue, and insightful observations always speak to me. Critics may claim that her novels are all the same; but I find them agreeable and sometimes memorable over time.
Rating: ****

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