10/10/2005

The Amateur Marriage

Unusually for Anne Tyler, there are quite a few characters in this novel. However it mainly revolves around Michael Anton, the rather awkward grocer's son, who falls suddenly in love with the flighty Pauline, and then enlists in the army for World War II.

The novel follows their rather tempestuous lives, their cihldren, and even grandchildren, over a space of more than fifty years. As always with this author, there are some clever observations that made me stop and think, and caricatures that were real enough to make all the main characters immediately recognisable. I suppose, too, there's an element of social history since it's set in a particular time period.

I found it a bit slow to get going, with so many minor characters being introduced, and some almost indistinguishable extras. Still, it was well worth reading, and by the end I found it difficult to put down.

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