Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Delia went straight from her father's arms to her husband's at 18 and even continued to live in the same house. Now at 41, on vacation with her extended family, she starts walking on the beach and then just keeps on walking to … wherever. She eventually lands in the small town of Bay Borough, wearing a swimsuit and robe, with $500 and little else. It's unclear to both Delia and the reader why she feels the need to abandon her old life, but one obvious reason is that she wants to start over from scratch, making her own way, without being propped up by her men. Her new friends in Bay Borough assume that she's escaping a husband who beats her, but that is definitely not the case. She has a grown daughter, a son in college, and a 15-year-old son. She cries herself to sleep at night, but, again, whether the tears are the result of guilt or loneliness or what is a mystery. The biggest clue lies in the newspaper article about her disappearance. Apparently, her family members cannot describe her physical characteristics, much less what she was wearing when last seen. There's a disconnect somewhere. Delia realizes that her new life in Bay Borough is temporary, but she's not sure how temporary. I would recommend an anti-depressant or a shrink, but Anne Tyler is content to let her characters wander around in their heads for a while.

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