The Beginner’s Goodbye
Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel about loss and recovery, pierced throughout with her humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron grew up fending off a sister who constantly wanted to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead – in their house, on the roadway, in the market – help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually, Aaron discovers that maybe for this beginner there is indeed a way to say goodbye.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
“I walked in a kind of trance, keeping my gait as nearly level as possible, as if Dorothy had been a liquid and now I was brimful of her and moving slowly and gently so as not to spill over”. Anne Tyler writes with deftness, forgiving her characters while holding them up for all to be seen.