Thursday, 30 January 2014

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler

The first Anne Tyler I read was Searching for Caleb - a very long time ago.  I haven't read any for quite a while, so it was a pleasure to take this one up, even though it's around 30 years old.  At the beginning of the book, Pearl Tull is dying, and by the end of the book she's dead.  But somehow, the book is about her three children, rather than her even though she appears on most pages.  Family memories - all the same, aren't they?  Well no.  In the case of the Tull children, Cody, Ezra and Jenny, memories are different, and sometimes faulty.  When Pearl's husband Beck, the children's father just never comes home after a business trip, Pearl is left to bring them up on her own, with the help of a regular but small cheque from Beck.

Cody turns out to be the mean one, Ezra, kind and softhearted, and Jenny, the doctor who can't stay married.  They are all headed home for the funeral and you'll find out how they got from childhood to there. A reminder that all families are different, but in that, all the same.