Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Amateur Marriage


Anne Tyler never disappoints me. Her books are quiet, closely observed depictions of ordinary people living ordinary lives -- even boring lives -- but just as closeup photography 
reveals new facets of everyday objects, Tyler's precise characterizations reveal the unexpected complexities in the most mundane of humans.

The Amateur Marriage (and aren't they all?) follows Michael and Pauline from their whirlwind infatuation with one another, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, through the years of their marriage and beyond.  Two mismatched souls, struggling for happiness in the confines of their ill-fitting partnership, these characters come alive on the page.

I'm baffled to explain just why I was so entranced by this book-- but I will say that when I crawled into bed last night, I had every intention of beginning a thriller by Lee Child. I'd picked it up at the library along with the Tyler book.  The thriller was on the bed beside me but before I turned to it, I picked up The Amateur Marriage, just to have a look.

Around a hundred and fifty pages later, it was past midnight and I reluctantly put the book down and turned off the light.  Lee Child would have to wait.      
 
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10 comments:

Ms. A said...

I used to love a book that I didn't want to put down.

Thérèse said...

Your bedtime move sounds like a great one!

Martin said...

The joy of well written books.

Merisi said...

I loved that book and you writing about it makes me want to reread it right now!

There were so many passages it is memorable for, and all those small gems made for a great book. More or less these were my thoughts at the time.

I checked, it's not on my bookshelves. I must have read a library copy, like you.

Merisi said...

P.S.: Have you read "Desperate Characters" by Paula Fox and "Light Years" by James Salter? I'd put them on the same shelf with Anne Tyler's novel, books that explore the mystery of relationships in memorable ways.

Merisi said...

I found a quote that seems so fitting, I dare comment again: “Like a modern Jane Austen, Tyler creates small worlds where she depicts in minutest detail the intimate bonds of friendship and family.” —USA Today

Brian Miller said...

ha...love it when a book captures me like that and wont let go...that you cant pin point why is amusing as well...

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Well, besides your books, I have had many a midnight read...and it is great to hear that you are also captured in that way.

NCmountainwoman said...

I like Anne Tyler too and I can't imagine how this one slipped by. I'll definitely read it.

I just read "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry," and I loved it. Really good for bedtime reading about an ordinary man and his long walk across England. Great dynamics of a strained marriage.

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