Ben Joe is the only boy in a family of six sisters, Mama and Gram. He is studying for a law degree in New York when he hears his eldest sister Joanne has left her husband and returned home with her baby girl. Out of a mixture of homesickness and duty Ben Joe returns to the home in which he has always felt like an outsider.
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"Anne Tyler has won herself a devoted following. Rightly so: her novels are beautifully controlled, witty, subtle, with an undercurrent of human warmth"
"She is a writer who gets to the heart of the matter without being glib, and cleverly reveals the extraordinary in seemingly ordinary lives"
"Anne Tyler's touch is deft, her perceptions keen, her ear for speech phenomenal, her people triumphantly alive... Only a rarely talented novelist could have written this fine book"
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From novels about parenting to making love last, here are some great books to read in your forties.
Anne Tyler is the favourite writer of everyone from Liane Moriarty to Hanya Yanagihara, and was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as ‘the greatest novelist writing in English’. Here’s our guide to getting started.