Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Musings--The Beginner's Goodbye

Yesterday's post contained a brief bio of American writer Anne Tyler.  Today I share an excerpt of my review of Tyler's most recent novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, which appeared online in the September 2012 issue of Sound Commentary.

In The Beginner’s Goodbye, Tyler examines life through the eyes of Aaron Woolcott, a recent widower grieving the loss of his wife Dorothy, who is suddenly killed when a tree crashes onto the sun porch of their home. In the wake of this devastating accident, Aaron is left to pick up the pieces of his life and begin anew.    
Partially paralyzed as the result of a childhood illness, Aaron has been overprotected and stifled for years by the well-meaning women in his life both at home and in the workplace.  When he meets the brusque, unsentimental Dr. Dorothy Rosales while editing a beginner’s guide for his family’s vanity press, Aaron is smitten.  Over the protest of his sister, a brief courtship ensues, and Aaron and Dorothy embark on a life together. 

Theirs is a marriage of independent careerists who prize their autonomy above all else, but it comes at the expense of leaving much unsaid and unexpressed between them. As Aaron grapples with their unfinished business, the departed Dorothy’s sudden appearances help him gain insight into their relationship and learn to live in the present. As Aaron bids farewell to what has been, he acquires a new appreciation for life and its endless possibilities for growth and contentment.

Tyler's interesting characters, relevant plots, and keen observations of human nature make her novels good book club choices and the source of lively discussions.


Disclaimer:  An audiobook of The Beginner's Goodbye was provided without cost by Sound Commentary.  No other remuneration was received for this review. 

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Monday Musings--The Beginner's Goodbye was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without express written consent.


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