Thursday, 14 April 2011

Noah's Compass - Anne Tyler

Synopsis - Widowed, re-married, divorced and the father of three daughters, Liam is a man who is proud of his recall but has learned to dodge issues and skirt adventure.  Something occurs, though, to jolt him out of his certainty.  Obsessed with a frightening gap in his memory, he sets out to uncover what happened, and finds an unusual woman with secrets of her own, and a late-flowering love that brings its own thorny problems.

His ex-wife Barbara and daughters worry about him but Liam blunders on.   His teenage daughter Kitty is sent to stay - though its not clear who is minding whom.  His middle daughter Louise, is a born-again Christian with a son called Jonah, but her certainties leave Liam still more perplexed.

Review - This is the second book I have read by this author.  I have seen the film version of The Accidental Tourist but not read the story.  This book is in a similar vein to The Accidental Tourist.

The book is well written and the narrative flows well but I found the storyline itself a bit weak.  The characters are not particularly strong, apart from Barbara the bossy ex-wife.  Liam goes on a personal journey of learning and love.  He is not very good at relationships as he maintains a certain distance with people, but he is basically a good person.  He lets life move on and take him with it, lacking self motivation.  However, he comes out the other end understanding people's feelings and learning about his family.  3*

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