Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant


Category: Feminism

Author: Anne Tyler

Summary: The Tull family - frazzled and sometimes abusive mother Pearl, missing father Beck, jealous and manipulative son Cody, troubled but finally contented daughter Jenny, and loving, placid baby Ezra - resembles families most of us know. We first witness Pearl's memories as she wanders back through her life while lying on her deathbed; Cody takes over, and by the end of the book we have experienced each family member's perspective. Out of their often differing stories a picture emerges of Pearl: of how her traveling salesman husband left her with three children to care for, how she tried to provide both emotional and financial support, and how she failed (more or less, depending upon the perspective) to give them a loving and secure home. Her children create families for themselves with varying degrees of success Lovable in the complicated way only family members are, they speak to us in the raucous chorus of guests at a dinner party, clamoring for our attention and inviting us to join in.

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