The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler

goodbyeI have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I’m very proud of myself for listening to an entire adult audiobook-something that is rare for me. I’m just not a great listener-my mind wanders, unless it’s something very funny I find myself occasionally tuning out, and I have trouble finding the time to be able to listen by myself.  I picked this up because I’m beginning to quilt a quilt top and thought it would be the perfect listening opportunity. And, it was. Between that, doing dishes, and in the car I managed to finish this in about a week. That said, why should I be pleased with myself for listening when I didn’t really enjoy the book? It started off promising, what with a man’s dead wife returning to him, but by the end I was ready for it to be done.

I had chosen this book because I love Anne Tyler. In fact, one of my favorite books is Ladder of Years. The premise is that a man’s wife dies after a tree falls on his house, and it’s all about his trying to move on, while also telling the story of how he first became married to Dorothy. As far as it being an audiobook, one huge grating flaw for me was the narrator’s pronunciation of Dorothy. He said “DOOR-a-thy”, which I cannot stand. And her name comes up a lot. As for the book, there were basically no characters I liked. Dorothy sounded like the world’s frumpiest dud, and Aaron didn’t seem too much better.  I just couldn’t care for them and the story was not very compelling or moving.

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