Sunday, September 26, 2010

Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler

Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn’t bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged. His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is — well, something quite different.

I went to read this one with mixed up expectations. I knew I had read other Anne Tyler books and thoroughly enjoyed them. At the same time, I couldn't recall many specific titles or details so they must not have been very memorable. I am usually more attracted to books where the main character is a woman and this is a man, an old man. And, finally, I read several reviews that described this book as slow; I'm not good with slow. So, how did it end up?

It ended up just fine. Liam Pennywell is an old man, things do move pretty slowly, it's not the most memorable story I've ever read but I loved it anyway! There was enough going on to keep me turning the pages but not so much going on that it took me more than a few hours to polish it off. When things got complacent, there was one unexpected twist that made me sit up and read with renewed enthusiasm. Liam was somewhat interesting and he was surrounded by people that added to that in their own unique ways. When all is said and done, Anne Tyler has a gift for just nailing human emotions and interactions. She does family life well and it reads smooth and easy.

This book is my "N" book for the 2010 A-Z Reading Challenge. Click on the button to see my progress.

And finally, an oops, please forgive me if I spammed you with the product description and a misspelled title the other day - hit post instead of save!

1 comment:

Booksnyc said...

I have liked many of Tyler's books but they do sometimes move slow. Thanks for the review!