Friday, June 15, 2012

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

Quirky characters with unusual occupations and mundane domestic lives amuse and charm the reader in The Beginner’s Goodbye.  Aaron Woolcott has been living a quiet life with his wife Dorothy when she is suddenly killed by a freak accident. Although they were somewhat mismatched and sometimes had trouble communicating, they were a close and devoted couple for over eleven years. Aaron, unable to deal with Dorothy’s unexpected death, becomes emotionally numb and withdrawn, resisting the efforts of his sister, his co-workers, friends and neighbors to help him through his grief. But then Dorothy begins to appear to him. Sometimes they talk. Sometimes they are silent. Sometimes they even annoy each other. These appearances comfort Aaron. However, Dorothy has another purpose for her visits and she eventually makes Aaron a better man.