Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler (Jill)

The Amateur Marriage
By Anne Tyler
Completed August 2, 2008

Once again, Anne Tyler takes a poignant look at everyday life in her The Amateur Marriage. In this book, Tyler examined the ups and downs of marriage and family life through main characters, Michael and Pauline. The story opened with the couple meeting during the whirlwind of the attack of Pearl Harbor. They married after a brief courtship – each with their own goals and opposite personalities. Michael was quiet, calculating and withdrawn; Pauline was talkative, extroverted and impulsive.

With some couples, the opposing personalities strengthen their marriage, but Michael and Pauline struggled deeply with communication. I wanted Michael to talk more openly and Pauline to really listen. They faced many hiccups –issues with their children, deaths of their parents and raising a grandchild – but they always missed the mark about being open and honest with each other.

This story was a great primer on what to do and not do with your spouse. Perhaps engaged couples could benefit from the lessons taught in The Amateur Marriage. Despite the many books, counselors and friendly advice, we really are amateurs when we marry.

To me, Tyler is at her best with The Amateur Marriage. Some readers may get frustrated with her narrative style and leaping time frames, but it did not distract me. If you loved Breathing Lessons or The Accidental Tourist, then I would highly recommend this book to you. ( )


Kathy Ostman-Magnusen said...

Thanks for the insight into this book. I LOVED "Accidental Tourist", so it is nice to get the heads up about this book as well. Another book I read a while ago is "The Poisenwood Bible". It was very touching and quite honestly I have not been able to get the characters in the book off my mind. You know how that goes with books!

Aloha from Hawaii,


w a y i n said...

a very good blog...