One of five Anne Tyler novels reissued in stunning new jackets
Through every family run memories which bind it together - despite everything. The Tulls of Baltimore were no exception. Abandoned by her salesman husband, Pearl is left to bring up her three children alone - Cody, a flawed devil, Ezra, a flawed saint, and Jenny, errant and passionate. Now as Pearl lies dying, stiffly encased in her pride and solitude, the past is unlocked and with its secrets.
‘Excellently done; the minutiae of domestic landscapes, the lunatic irrationality of family quarrels, the torments of sibling rivalry’ - Sunday Telegraph
‘Funny, heart-hammering, wise... superb entertainment’ - New York Times Book Review
‘A book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read.’ - Boston Globe
‘In her ninth novel she has arrived at a new level of power.’ - The New Yorker
‘A novelist who knows what a proper story is . . . [Tyler is] not only a good and artful writer, but a wise one as well.’ - Newsweek
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Comments about Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant:
Just everyday reading, my eldest daughter recommended her books to me many years ago. Entering a new stage of my life with lots of changes, it occurred to me to start reading her books again.
"Accidental Tourist" is my favourite.
Another of Tyler's family portraits: again she draws forth that elusive aura of redemptive family unity - despite snapped loyalties, devastating loneliness, and the conflicts between those who hit life hard and those who "live life at a slant." Ezra Tull - one of Tyler's gentle, bumbling men - is, unlike his meddlesome, reproachful mother Pearl, a "feeder." And at his "Homesick Restaurant," an untidy establishment where he'll solicitously "cook what other people felt homesick for," Ezra sometimes hopefully sets a table for family occasions. But "the family as a whole never yet finished one of his dinners - it was as if what they couldn't get right they had to keep returning to." The family, you see, has never been "right" since that day years before when Pearl's husband Beck left them for good: overburdened with the raising of three young children, lonely and friendless, Pearl became an angry sort of mother to them all, raising them each with a "trademark flaw." Older brother Cody is handsome, bland, a prankster who hides the unloved rage of an unfavorite son - and this drives him to steal Ezra's fiancee Ruth for his own wife. Sister Jenny, deserted by her second husband, given to child abuse, hurt and overworked, is rescued by the family. Gentle Ezra is stuck with mother Pearl - though he comes to see "her true interior self, still enormous, larger than life, powerful. Overwhelming." And when Cody's teenage son Luke hitchhikes, on the crest of one of Cody's pristine rages, from the Virginia home to Ezra in Baltimore, he too is inundated with family miseries. Finally, then, Pearl dies and the family will gather again at the restaurant. But this time they'll be joined by the near-mythical old Beck Tull: can he now ever be part of the family? Well, perhaps - because a life's anger seems to drain as Cody sees all his family "opening like a fan," drawing him in - and Beck, an old man who could not, long ago, take the "tangles" of family, will stay "until the dessert wine." Less magical, perhaps, than other Tylers - but her vision of saving interdependencies and time's witchiness continues to tease and enchant. (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 3rd January 1998
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.1 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1