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    7. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner

      The secong group read of 2014

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    8. Book Group Archive

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  8. SUBSCRIBERS' AREA

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  • Posts

    • About to start The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally
    • I bought this book 8 or 9 years ago, but didn't start it because I'd just finished another of Anne Tyler's books and I liked to space them out. I didn't mean it to be quite so long - but I have finally read it!   I had read the "Missing Person" report that acts as a prologue to the story before I put it away. The descriptions of Delia are vague and confused -  it is clear that none of her family ever actually looked at her. At that time I was pretty sure that my family would be similarly pushed to describe me, so that may be why it stayed at the bottom of the TBR pile for so long.   Anne Tyler has been one of my  favourite authors for years, but I did find it a bit hard to re-connect with her way of writing about family relationships. I was a bit worried that I had 'gone off' her. But no! Once Delia makes her unintentional break for freedom I quickly became fully engaged.    For someone of her background, married young to her doctor father's partner, never leaving the family home and only ever working as her father, and then her husband's clerical assistant she shows remarkable initiative and fortitude in finding herself accommodation, a job, a new wardrobe and a completely different way of relating to the world. The characters she meets and connects with are very typical of Tyler, and give a warm friendly picture of very small-town America in the '90s.  A couple of family members trace her, but she feels no desire to return to Baltimore, and so more than a year passes. She changes her job, and becomes housekeeper and childminder to a man separated from his wife  and becomes involved with their wider family.   Then she gets an invitation to her daughter's wedding. She tells her employer that she will be away for a day or two, but the wedding doesn't exactly go according to plan, and she is drawn back into being the mother who fixes everything. In the meantime she is getting phone calls from her employer and his son asking when she is going 'home' to them...   So, after a bit of a rocky start with this book, Anne Tyler is back as one of my favourite authors     
    •   Thank you Momac, I think that you are right.  My shoulder pain is easing off as I'm using my left arm to pick up and hold the book.  I only have forty or so pages to go so very nearly finished. I'm glad that you are enjoying your new shower, my father loves ours.    
    • I've always loved being read to and my mother indulged my far longer than she really wanted to.  I'd loved to be read to now, but nobody will.  It would seem by the following article that reading aloud is good for both reader and listener.  Why reading aloud is a vital bridge to literacy   What do the members think?
    • I had the same problem at the end and felt that the strong hand of a good editor would have helped.  That being said, I really enjoyed reading it and recommended it to a friend who loves time travel.  Were I to have read it for a class or something, I would have had to prepare charts and such.  As it was, I got along pretty well most of the time and just didn't worry about trying to tie all of it together.  Even the main character has trouble holding it all together.  In fact, one of the things I liked the best about this book is that his actual personality almost gets swallowed up by the people he inhabits and their memories and feelings clog his brain.  
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