Noah's Compass

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Click for availability and more information Noah's Compass, by Anne Tyler
Anne Tyler may be the Belle of Baltimore, but she is also a national treasure. Noah's Compass is Tyler's eighteenth novel. In her trademark style she creates a character who is searching for meaning and wholeness in life. Liam Pennywell, age 61, is forced into early retirement from his teaching job at a private school in Baltimore. He moves from his roomy apartment near the school into a nondescript apartment complex near the beltway. On the first night in his new apartment he is robbed and knocked unconscious. He awakes in the hospital with no memory of the night he was attacked. Although the rest of his memory is intact, he obsesses about the night he can't remember. Surrounded by his bossy and unsympathetic daughters, an exasperated ex-wife and indifferent sister, Liam wants to remember what he has forgotten. He meets Eunice, who works as a "rememberer" for an aging businessman who needs prompting in social situations. Liam is entranced by the romantic idea of having Bernice help him to remember the missing night of his attack. But what Liam needs to remember is the context of his own life before the further diminishments of age wash him further away. As Tyler writes, Liam "has a glancing relationship with his own life." I'm glad I got a glimpse of Liam, and all of Anne Tyler's characters.
-Kathy C.

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This page contains a single entry published on March 11, 2010 3:12 PM.

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