Back When We Were Grownups

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Jul 31, 2001 - Fiction - 273 pages
126 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye.


"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.

The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else’s?

On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation—something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family’s crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, a divorcÚ with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms.

Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught un-awares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it—how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been—is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

As always with Anne Tyler’s novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser.
 

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The ending was very unsatisfactory. - LibraryThing
Don't want to spoil the plot. - LibraryThing
That's not to say that Tyler's writing is predictable. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - Jessica_Olin - LibraryThing

The ending was very unsatisfactory. Tyler does have this tendency to end on a commonplace note instead of a bang, but even more so in this work. Other than that, though, I adored this book. The thing ... Read full review

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User Review  - joyceclark - LibraryThing

This was a fairly entertaining book - I would read it in the evening right before bed. Nice way to occupy some time but not a good that I found myself thinking about during the day, turning in early ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
21
Section 3
55
Section 4
82
Section 5
114
Section 6
138
Section 7
164
Section 8
185
Section 9
210
Section 10
228
Section 11
248
Section 12
267
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. This is Anne Tyler’s fifteenth novel;
her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore.

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