Today’s Tuesday Teaser is from a novel I finished last night . Anne Tyler is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and I have read most of what she’s written over the years.
The teaser is from the two main characters, Mercy and Robin recalling their sweet, innocent wedding night. Robin says…
” ‘…And then you came out of the bathroom in your slinky white satin nightie.’
‘And you looked away,’ Mercy said. ‘You looked off toward the bedroom window.’
‘I was trying to get control of myself, ‘ he said.’ “
Tyler is at her best doing what she does best here–describing the lives of ordinary middle-aged people. The book has been described as a “journey into one family’s foibles from the 1950s up to our pandemic present.” It deals with family complexities and the “kindnesses and cruelties of our daily life.” Even in the smallest details, Tyler captures the dailyness of our lives. Take for example when Mercy and Robin’s grown kids would come to visit, the first thing Robin would ask was, “How was the traffic on the beltway?” It reminded me that each time we would go to visit our folks in Virginia after marrying and relocating in Texas, the first thing everyone would ask was, “How long are you here for?”
Mercy and Robin Garret and their children Allie, Lily, and David are the well-developed characters in this 2022 novel. Their development and changes in character are demonstrative of Tyler’s forte, characterization. Of any contemporary author, Tyler does this best. Personally, I choose characterization over plot any day to peak and hold my interest, and perhaps this is the reason I enjoy Anne Tyler’s novels so much.
I highly recommend this “darned good read.”