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Amateur Marriage, The: Reviewed

Author:Anne Tyler
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Genre:fiction, historical
Year of publication:2004

Thing is, most marriages in the USA are "amateur", aren't they? In fact, most decisions made by anyone, especially in his or her personal life, are going to be made amateurly, and some better than others. And just because a decision is sudden, that does not always mean that it was wrong.

After reading one of Anne Tyler's novels, we know so much about the characters that we feel that, if the character walked past us in a shopping mall, we might recognize him or her. And Tyler doesn't have to tell us much about each character to work her magic. This one wears a red coat; that one has a limp. In this way are decisions made and in this way are people known, both in Tyler's novels and in real life.

A heartbreaking occurrence in many Tyler novels is the sudden disappearance of a child or teenager, through death or other circumstance, and the repercussions of that disappearance on the parents. The disappearance described in this novel is cruel, believable, and utterly wrenching.

-- Emily Berk

Other reviews: Amateur Marriage, The
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