A bittersweet novel of family and self-discovery from the bestselling, award-winning author of A Spool of Blue Thread
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: her mother’s disappearance when she was just a child, being proposed to at an airport at the age of twenty-one, the accident that would leave her a widow in her forties. Each time, Willa ended up on a path laid out for her by others.
So when she receives a phone call from a stranger informing her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot, she drops everything and flies across the country. The spur-of-the moment decision to look after this woman and her nine-year-old daughter leads Willa into uncharted territory and the eventual realisation that it’s never too late to choose your own path.
'She is and always will be my favourite author' Liane Moriarty
If Anne Tyler isn't the best writer in the world, who is?
One of our greatest living fiction writers and if I was in charge, she'd have a Nobel by now
Brims with the qualities that have brought her legions of fans and high critical acclaim. Characters pulse with lifelikeness. The tone flickers between humorous relish and sardonic shrewdness. Dialogue crackles with authenticity. Beneath it all is an insistence that it's never too soon to recognise how quickly life can speed by and never too late to make vitalising changes
How does she do it? Her style is deceptively simple. Even though she performs narrative cartwheels that would lead other novelists to be praised as experimental... she does it with such ease that it seems closer to life than to art. it is almost as though we are there to witness time passing, and people changing
A writer sharp-eyed as a butcher-bird, skewering complacency... an immensely funny writer... a quiet writer, in that much of her skill goes toward the excision of anything that reminds the reader they are reading
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.