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The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler

Let me start by saying, I am a fan of Anne Tyler.  If she writes it I will read it. Having said that, I am nearly always disappointed with her endings. So, why do I keep coming back? Because I believe her work.  I know her characters, even if I don’t always like them, I believe in them.  If I want more for them than they get in the end, that’s just me trying to impose my values on them. The character has a life of his/her own, and I recognize the worlds they inhabit. In her new book The Beginner’s Goodbye Aaron Woolcott is mourning the tragic and unexpected death of his wife Dorothy. He is devastated until he begins to run into her again. This is not a ghost story and she has not faked her death. Dorothy is really dead but she’s not so much haunting him as keeping him company. This is a story of boundless grief and the way one man works through it. There are no huge revelations but for Aaron there is a shift in values that helps him get on with his life, and shows the reader a path to hopefulness through loss and despair.

Sherri M.

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