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a mother's sojourn

This week, Book Break has a guest blogger. Fellow Captivate editor Jacqui Pini – blogger of Indulge and Captivate Cooking – reviews Anne Tyler's Ladder of Years. Enjoy!

By guest blogger Jacqui Pini

Delia Grinstead, the main character in Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years takes the term “alone time” to a new level.

In dealing with the recent loss of her father and the indifferent attitudes her husbands and three children (actually – young adults), has toward her, Delia walks out on them in the middle of a family vacation. She hitches a ride out of town and lands in Bay Borough, a town about 2 hours from her home in Baltimore. There is no premeditation involved in her journey at all. She is found by her family, but chooses to stay where she is with little explanation to anyone, including herself.

Tyler has a way of slowly unfolding the realities of life in a small town and the characters involved. Some are funny, some sad but they all hold an important role in shaping Delia in her new life away from her family. Delia gets a job, rents a room, eats alone, vacations alone and makes a circle of new friends. As she grows in a way that she was never able to before, she is still haunted by the fact her family has really not pursued her.

Eventually she is called back home to Baltimore to attend her daughter’s wedding, which leads the book down a few interesting final turns. Some of the issues she faces include whether or not her family will forgive her and if she’ll decide to come back.

Tyler’s smooth style of writing builds up characters and plots to the point where you are hooked, but never feel saturated in details. This book clearly defines the importance of figuring out your personal strengths before being a rock for everyone else. Ladder of Years is an easy book to pick up and read during your next relaxing vacation. Bonus – it’s in paperback now too!

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“a mother's sojourn”