Monday, 13 July 2015

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

“It was the purest fact of her life: she did not understand him, and she never would.”

There are some books that are so delicately realised that their impact isn’t felt straight away. This one certainly falls within that category. Reading it feels less like you have immersed yourself in a novel and more like you’ve lived through the turbulent times of a family whose expectations of life are never fully met.

The book opens with the departure of Pearl's husband which is handled in such a gut wrenching fashion that was both difficult to read and at the same time, unforgettable. The impact of his running off has ramifications for the rest of her life and that of her children - Jenny, Ezra and Cody. I could go on about the storyline, but I think this is a tale best experienced untainted.

I was almost going to give the book a lower score, but it stayed with me, in a weird combination of familiar and troubling. Every family has their problems, but this one has quite a few, and its intriguing to explore them together.

5 out of 5 family dinners can be difficult.

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