15/11/2006

If Morning Ever Comes (by Anne Tyler)

Apparently 'If Morning Ever Comes' was the first book Anne Tyler had published. It's not particular long, but already reveals the kind of clever observation and characterisation that her books are full of. It's about a typical Tyler family, with a young man (Ben Joe) who is a student at university - yet worries about the rest of his family. He decides on a whim to return home for a bit after learning that his married sister has left her husband.

I don't know quite how the author manages to make the most unlikely and quirky people seem real, but she succeeds every time. Are there really families like this? If so, I haven't come across them, but I'd like to! The skill is in the clever characterisation, because there really isn't much plot. We learn about Ben Joe's various sisters through his eyes, and the general family problems and hidden skeletons gradually get revealed through everyday life.

The ending was a bit abrupt - sort of satisfactory, but didn't really answer any questions. Still, I enjoyed it while I was reading it.

No comments: