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The Beginner's Goodbye
Synopses & Reviews
Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. 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 help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.
"In Tyler's latest novel, a physically disabled man named Aaron is devastated when his wife, Dorothy, is killed in a freak accident. As he tries to pick up the pieces of his life, Dorothy begins to appear to him from beyond the grave. Narrator Kirby Heyborne turns in a workmanlike performance in this compelling audio edition. Heyborne is sensitive and believable in his rendition of quirky, polite, and antisocial Aaron, who struggles to understand how to function after his wife's death, while also facing painful truths about the ups and downs of his marriage. Heyborne's nuanced narration captures the protagonist's emotional growth, his grief, and the ways he is able to better understand himself and his needs. A Knopf hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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