By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amateur Marriage.
Having sacked her handyman, newly-widowed Mrs Emerson finds a replacement in Elizabeth, a lanky, awkward girl.
The Emersons - there are seven grown-up children - have a reputation for craziness and Elizabeth finds herself drawn into their disorderly lives against her will.
But in the end it is hard to tell whether she is a victim of the needy Emersons, or the de facto ruler of the family.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 03/01/1998
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099469605
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by hazelk
I'm glad that I had read the later Anne Tyler novels before I came across this early 1972 novel. There wasn't one of the Emerson family that interested me and Elizabeth Gillespie just aggravated me but more than all this I was just bored with it. On the final page little George looked at Peter leaving "as if, every day of his life, he saw people arriving and leaving and getting sidetracked from their travels." Indeed this is what happens but I didn't care.
Review by timjones
This novel starts from an archetypal premise - that of an outsider of lower social class entering the world of a large upper-middle-class family, and the effect each has on the other - and it took me a while to warm to it; one plot twist in particular was all too predictable. But with that exception, the book veers off in some unexpected directions, and by the end, I was very happy that I'd read it. As a bonus, it is also extremely well written.