Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Aaron has just lost his wife Dorothy to a freak accident.  Months after her death, he begins to see her and have conversations with her in which he makes some new discoveries about their lives together.  Is she real or a ghost or just a figment of Aaron's imagination?  In any case, these encounters go a long way toward facilitating Aaron's healing process.  Theirs was not a perfect marriage, but he finds that he can barely function without her and moves in with his pushy sister Nandina, whose love life is just starting to blossom.  I think this is the first Anne Tyler book I've read in which there's an element of the supernatural, but she presents these sightings as remarkable while sticking to her story of an ordinary man.  My favorite thing about this book is how she handles the question of whether other people who knew Dorothy actually witness her reappearance.  Clearly, Aaron thinks that she is visible to others, but he doesn't discuss the phenomenon with the other witnesses, so that he never really gets any validation.  In any case, the author certainly doesn't intend this to be a ghost novel.  Her books strike me as being generally about a lonely person, and Aaron fits the bill.  His home and his life are shattered, and the author allows us to share his grief without forcing us to endure a weepy pity party.

1 comment:

spywife said...

I listened to this by audio. I actually enjoyed it. The characters were well defined. I liked the way the author case to make us like the wife's character.