The Beginner's Goodbye

A Novel

Tyler, Anne

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Beginner's Goodbye
"Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances--in their house, on the roadway, in the market. Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron has spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, independent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly, he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye. A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler's humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles"--

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780307957276
Branch Call Number: FIC T
Characteristics: 197 p. ; 22 cm.


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Mar 28, 2015

A beautiful novel unexpectedly upbeat in spite of its story. A quick read that I read a second time in order to see the foreshadowing of later events.

Jul 21, 2014

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "A nice easy read about loss and love. People find love later in life and find the happiness they're seeking."

Jul 09, 2014
  • grannyat55 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The male voice too many times did not sound authentic. I found myself thinking; a woman might say that, but not sure a man would have used that expression.

May 27, 2013
  • five4kc rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A quirky tale of love and loss. Interesting characters that are flawed, yet endearing. A nice, easy read with a good message.

May 20, 2013

"Partially disabled by an illness in childhood, 36-year-old Aaron is fiercely independent, but when his pragmatic, slightly older wife Dorothy is killed by a tree that falls on their house, he is devastated. The house destroyed, he moves in with his overbearing sister and hides out in his office at the family's publishing company (known for publishing a series of instructional books, advice from which is scattered throughout the novel). It's not until Dorothy's ghost begins appearing that Aaron starts moving through the process of grieving - and starts truly understanding their marriage. Check out The Beginner's Goodbye for a sensitive portrayal of love and grief." May 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

May 15, 2013
  • ktripson rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Only Anne Tyler can make peripheral misfits compelling.

Jan 28, 2013
  • gracindaisy rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

After a tree falls on a house & kills his wife, a man is visited by his deceased spouse.

Dec 01, 2012
  • meosgal rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was a very sweet story. Highly recommend.

Nov 07, 2012
  • Philla15 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Anne Tyler never disappoints although this is not her best novel. The story follows the trail of grief to its natural resolution. Her characters are quirky as usual and yet we find something of ourselves that we can forgive by sharing this tale.

Aug 24, 2012
  • curlooley rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

As a person who has experienced the death of a spouse, I found this novel to be eerily perceptive. Probably the best book I've read in the last 10 years.

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