Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back When We Were Grown-ups

On Monday night, I finished reading Anne Tyler's Back When We Were Grown-ups, started reading Neil Gaiman's Stardust (which I'm loving so far) and decided to give up on the Polish book I was reading - Rzeź Bezkręgowców by Joanna Chmielewska. It wasn't doing anything for me and since I have so many other things to read, I decided to move on. I used to love this author, but she's another one who's been using the same formula forever and it sounds forced by now.

When I started reading it, I didn't like Back When We Were Grown-ups. I didn't like that there were so many characters with strange names or nicknames, I found it hard to keep track and it seemed forced to me.

But it grew on me. The story was simple, in fact nothing really happened, the action mostly took place in the mind of the main character, Rebecca. She was doing a lot of thinking about whether she took the right fork in the road when she married her husband and about how different life would have been if she'd married her high school sweetheart. It's about the highly-addictive 'what-if' game that many of us play (I can't be only one!) and Anne Tyler takes it to a beautiful place. The book goes quickly, the simplest things in life are are beautifully described, all in all it was enjoyable.

I'm giving it 3 1/2 stars because I enjoyed it and would read something else by Anne Tyler at some point, but it didn't wow me.

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