Celestial Navigation, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Jeremy is a child-like, painfully shy batchelor who has never left home.

He lives on the third floor of his mother's boarding house and spends his days cutting up coloured paper to make mosaic sculptures - until the day his mother dies and the beautiful Mary Tell arrives to turn his world upside down.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amateur Marriage and Digging to America.




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Having grown accustomed to the jaunty humour of Anne Tyler's later novels, what was most striking about <i>Celestial Navigation</i> was its pervasive sense of sadness. As a character study of child-like artist Jeremy Pauling, it is honest, realistic and heart-breaking.I suspect many families (including mine) harbour a 'Jeremy' - the coddled son who has drifted into a rudderless and ineffectual adulthood, indifferent to the needs of other people. What stopped me despising Jeremy outright was Tyler's focus on what his favoured status has cost. As his sister Amanda reflects, 'Well, there are worse things than walking alone. Look at Jeremy, propped up on both sides, beloved son of Wilma Pauling. If that is what love does to you, isn't it possible that I am the most fortunate of all?' (p. 40)This is still very recognisable as a Tyler novel, dwelling as it does on the workings of a single Baltimore household over the course of many years. The author also makes effective use of multiple narrators to explore different phases of Jeremy's life. <i>Celestial Navigation</i> is amongst Tyler's best work.

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