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The Beginner's Goodbye


The Beginner's Goodbye Cover

ISBN13: 9780307957276
ISBN10: 0307957276
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and reading list that follow are intended to enhance your reading group’s discussion of The Beginner’s Goodbye, Anne Tyler’s deeply moving new novel.

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Maryland reader, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Maryland reader)
Anne Tyler doesn't disappoint with this insightful look at grief and healing, love and marriage. A warm and honest look at what it means to lose someone you love and what is required to move on. Even as it deals with the subjects of loss and mourning, this lovely novel is not dark or depressing, but rather hopeful and redemptive.
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Susan F, November 26, 2012 (view all comments by Susan F)
Here is another great book from author Anne Tyler! The first sentence in The Beginner's Goodbye attracts one's attention immediately. What follows is an intricate story that held me captive to the last page! Reading this book is like talking to someone who has experienced a great and sudden loss and being a witness to their journey through grief and subsequent healing. We also have a generous glimpse of other characters whose lives go on as Aaron struggles to come to terms with his loss.
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dreena, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by dreena)
Tyler's misfit characters tug your heartstrings with this story about the unexpected death of a spouse. For those of us who have lost a spouse or known someone dealing with grief, unresolved issues and living life again, the story rings true as we learn how to say good-bye.
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Product Details

Tyler, Anne
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
8.66 x 5.87 x 0.85 in 0.78 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals

The Beginner's Goodbye Used Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307957276 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Tyler's elegant 19th novel, Aaron is an editor at a vanity press with a crippled right arm and leg who thinks of himself as 'unluckier but no unhappier' than anyone else. He meets Dorothy, a brisk, no nonsense doctor, while editing a medical tome, and they fall in love, marry, and muddle along until Dorothy dies in an accident that nearly destroys their home. Aaron moves in with his overprotective sister and begins seeing Dorothy's ghost, spectral appearances that make him realize just how many fissures there were in their marriage. Tyler's gentle style focuses on the details of daily life, and how the little things, both beautiful and ugly, contribute to the bigger picture. Tyler (Breathing Lessons, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988) portrays complex, difficult, loving individuals struggling to co-exist and find happiness together. This is no gothic ghost story nor chronicle of a man unraveling in his grief, but rather an uplifting tale of love and forgiveness. By the end of this wonderful book, you've lived the lives and loves of these characters in the best possible way. Agent: Jesseca Salky, Hannigan Salky Getzler. 150,000-copy announced first printing." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "An absolute charmer of a novel about grief, healing, and the transcendent power of love....With sparkling prose and undeniable charm, Tyler gets at the beating heart of what it means to lose someone, to say goodbye, and to realize how we are all, perhaps, always ultimate beginners in the complex business of life....A dazzling meditation on marriage, community, and redemption."
"Review" by , "A pleasure to read....Classic Tyler....The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage."
"Review" by , "Like a modern Jane Austen, Tyler creates small worlds where she depicts in minutest detail the intimate bonds of friendship and family."
"Review" by , "Anne Tyler is one of our national treasures, and The Beginner’s Goodbye puts all of her skills on display: her warmth and wit, her generous embrace of her flawed characters, her clear-eyed observations about the inner workings of a marriage and the enduring bonds between brothers and sisters, husbands and wives."
"Review" by , "The Beginner’s Goodbye is the purest distillation of an Anne Tyler novel imaginable."
"Review" by , "Anne Tyler has no peer. Her books just keep getting better and better. In The Beginner’s Goodbye, I was surprised, intrigued, and delighted at every turn."
"Review" by , "Anne Tyler never disappoints....Her insights about life, love, aging, marriage, siblings, grief, and unexpected happiness grow richer and deeper with each passing year and book."
"Review" by , "Over five decades of exuberant shape-shifting across the fictional landscape, Anne Tyler has cut the steady swath of a literary stalwart, writing novel after novel whose most memorable characters inhabit a cosmos all their own....What makes each story distinctive is the particular way its characters rebel against hereditary confines, cope with fateful crises, or forge relationships with new acquaintances who rock their world....Once again, Tyler exhibits her genius for the incisive, savory portrayal of marriage."
"Review" by , "This is what Tyler does better than almost any contemporary writer. She peers at the forgotten areas of the everyday, the bits that are hard to pinpoint, yet make up the bulk of our lives and relationships. And this, ultimately, is why she is such a satisfying writer: she looks at people — at life — from the inside out. This is a book not just about grief, but about hope....The Beginner’s Goodbye is diverting, certainly, but also deeply rewarding. There is, in short, no guilt in the pleasure of a new Tyler. We can only hope for many, many more."
"Review" by , "Beautifully intricate. By the exquisitely romantic emotional climax, Aaron’s ordinary life has bloomed into an opera."
"Review" by , "Its insights will keep you up nights....Ranks high in the hierarchy of Tyler’s works. And what a lineup that is."
"Review" by , "Warm, smart, deliciously written."
"Review" by , "As always, Pulitzer Prize winner Tyler brilliantly explores a stunning range of human emotion, poignantly considering the challenges of death while creating lovable characters whose foibles capture our hearts. Essential reading."
"Review" by , "One of the things that makes Tyler’s work so radiant is that she seems to believe that people are inherently good and that, thanks to that goodness, ordinary lives can contain moments of great beauty, dignity, and hope. The Beginner’s Goodbye has all three....[Told] with characteristic warmth, sympathy and wisdom."
"Review" by , "A scintillating gem of a novel....Exceptionally lithe and sparkling....A funny, sweet, and wise tale of lost and found love."
"Review" by , "Elegant....An uplifting tale of love and forgiveness. By the end of this wonderful book, you’ve lived the lives and loves of these characters in the best possible way."
"Review" by , "Anne Tyler writes about real life, and in common with the finest fiction writers, such as William Trevor and Alice Munro, she does not engage with fantasy, as she is well aware that the ordinary is sufficiently bizarre....She is effortless, wise yet never knowing, and establishes a sense of having thought deeply about the given facts of any story....She is also sympathetic without being sentimental....Yet again she has articulated the supreme difficulties of human communication in a calmly insightful exploration of love and truth, grief and reality."
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