Larry Weller is an average guy who moved from young adulthood to middle age in a pretty average way. He received a diploma in floral design, choosing the profession more by accident than by choice, and moved "up the ladder" in a small floral chain store. On his honeymoon he became fascinated with garden maze design, and made this the cornerstone of his career. He struggled to form meaningful adult relationships with parents, siblings, and women. But as Larry moved from this twenties through his thirties and forties, he matured, "found himself," and made peace with key figures in his life.
Reading Larry's Party is like watching selected scenes from a movie. Each chapter covers a short time in Larry's life and is self-contained, almost like a short story. Shields provides details as if previous chapters had not been written; for example, well into the book she described Larry's parents, and his education, even though earlier chapters covered these aspects of his life in detail. At the beginning of the book, Larry is in his late twenties; by the end, he is 47 -- the same age as I am now. I could relate to Larry's journey through adulthood, and think this book may be more enjoyable for older audience.