Saturday, October 3, 2015

MORGAN'S PASSING by Anne Tyler

The book opens with Morgan Gower posing as a doctor who then delivers a young woman’s baby in the back seat of his car, with the help of her husband.  The young couple, Emily and Leon, are bohemian puppeteers, performing fairy tales for children, but it is Morgan who lives in a world of make-believe, changing personas and outfits as suit his whim.   Emily and Leon do not discover until much later that Morgan actually works in a hardware store and frequently passes himself off as someone with another profession. Morgan is quite a jack of all trades and relatively harmless, but then he starts stalking Emily and Leon and falls in love with Emily.  At times, I couldn’t decide if Morgan was really in love with Emily or merely with the idea of her, dressed in a leotard, wrap-around skirt, and ballet slippers.  The big question is whether or not she will return Morgan’s affection.  She and Leon are so very different from Morgan, with their sparsely furnished home, in stark contrast to Morgan’s home, which he shares with his wife Bonny, his sister Brindle, his mother Louisa, and 7 daughters, all grown, who dart in and out of the house with their own families.  His home life is one of happy chaos, but Emily and Leon do not lead an ideal existence, either.   As Leon becomes increasingly more disgruntled and grouchy, the door opens for Morgan to act on his midlife-crisis infatuation.  I don’t always relate to Anne Tyler’s characters, but I almost always enjoy their quirky antics, and this novel is no exception.  Ever curious and well-meaning, Morgan is a delightful, buffoonish character, although I found him a little creepy early on in his voyeurism as he lurked behind corners, watching and following Emily and Leon.  However, the LOL moments way outweigh the creepy ones.

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