DINNER AT THE HOMESICK RESTAURANT
Tyler, Anne (Random House, reprint July 2012, ISBN:1446426718, 9781446426715)
I don’t know if they still do it like this, but back in the 80s, year 12 English at high school seemed to consist almost entirely of reviewing books for a theme. I was lucky enough to get a theme back in 1989 of ‘The Family’ – lucky because it was in that class that I was introduced to Anne Tyler.
There was dissent in the classroom when we read this book. Out of the 20 odd people in my class, the dissent was pretty unevenly divided: 19 people hated this book with a passion, one person (me) loved it with equal passion. I don’t know why they all hated it – perhaps it’s because it was literature; and literature never rounds up things into a nice bundled happy ending, which is the sort of book most people would have been reading when they are 16 or 17. I recall the dragonlance books were a bit popular in my school at the time. You know who the goodies and the baddies are and you know it’s all going resolve well. However – I’m ok with bittersweet or unspecified endings, your brain fills in the gap and you work it out. I read “Rebecca” in about year seven and that one leaves so much undone that I learned pretty early that was ok in a book. I also like a good, slow, gentle progression of a story, where the change is in the people the story is about – or more tragically, there is very little change in the people the story is about. Continue reading