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NOAH’S COMPASS By: Anne Tyler August 14, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.


                 The Lycan Librarian has long loved Anne Tyler’s books. The author has such a unique way of bringing her characters to life by pointing out their faults. She holds up a character’s hand to expose nails bitten to the quick, and spotlights falling hems, wrinkled shirts and the little piles of trash left in their wakes. Often, it’s these tiny, very believable traits that makes the reader excuse the characters’ infidelities and aggravating personalities. Although this reader likes Tyler’s characters, she has of list of those for which she is grateful she does not have to work or live.
     NOAH’S COMPASS is not an exciting book. It is not one to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it did manage to keep my nose firmly planted in it to see if Liam would settle comfortably into his new apartment after being assaulted in it his very first night. One both hopes for and dreads his hooking up with Eunice, his youngest daughter moving in with him, and his getting his “dream job” because it is doubtful that he’s suited for it. Tyler’s strength as a novelist lies just there — in the soft and bumpy human drama that reflects our own lives. Most of us don’t work amid crime and violence, or fly suddenly overseas to solve mysteries. We deal with the very same sort of problems that Liam does when he refused to argue with his ex-wife and declined fighting to keep his job. He’s a nice guy, much like the one living next to or down the street from any of us.
     I enjoyed the book. I liked the characters and the smooth prose, and I finished it in a little over two days. My favorite Tyler novel is AN ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, so if you’ve never read her, I suggest you start with that one, and then work your way through her other seventeen.



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