This is a novel exploring four generations of a family living in Baltimore, from the time of the Great Depression to the modern era. From Pulitzer Prize winning author, Anne Tyler. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.
It looks at how family relationships evolve and transform over time, and how some hurts leave permanent marks. Many of the characters are fully-drawn and deeply believable. But some are less well developed. On the plus side, I did feel like an inside observer of this family’s complex dynamics.
There’s also the character of the house in which much of the story takes place. Build with care and love by the first generation as a symbol of success, the house is as much of a player in this drama as any of the individual family members. It’s where feuds between partners begin, where grief is confronted, and where longstanding sibling rivalries play out.
All that said, there was something that didn’t fully engage me as a reader. I didn’t care about the people enough. And I didn’t feel satisfied with the ending, which doesn’t resolve much of the family angst that’s described. I suppose that is how it is in real families and in that way, author Anne Tyler was masterful. But I finished the book not feeling a lot.
More about Anne Tyler.