Back When We Were Grownups, by Anne Tyler

"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person". So starts the book, which sounds like it's going to turn into Ladder of Years. But although it is similar in feel, it's another book where Tyler has created believable characters and a moving story.

Rebecca is pretty much running the family business which was set up by her late husband, and rather like the lead character in Ladder of Years, she seems to be someone who's an incidental character in everyone else's life. She decides to find out what happened to her high-school sweetheart, and begins a tentative romance with him.

This was a good one - I enjoyed it much more than Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, although Tyler apparently rates that one very highly. Some things that stuck out - at one point someone reminds her of a comment she made, and "Rebecca laughed, impressed by her own wittiness" - this reminded me of listening to some of my lectures, where I'd forgotten something I said and it was funny enough to make me laugh out loud - a strange experience, making yourself laugh.

At one point, when Rebecca goes for a walk, she describes "buttery June sunshine" which I really like, although I'm not sure exactly why it works as a description. When Rebecca holds a new-born baby for the first time: "he peered curiously up at Rebecca as if he thought he might know her from somewhere".

Really enjoyed this one.

Completed : 17-Aug-2007

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