Sunday, July 19, 2009

67. A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

Book Around the States

Barnaby Gaitlin is almost thirty, has a no-future job, divorced with a daughter he visits weekly, no love life, a disappointment to his family and himself. Because of his delinquent youth, his mother is on his case continually about the money spent bailing him out. The time he spends with her really set my teeth on edge. How can a mother treat her son that way. Because, in spite of everything, Barnaby is a kind, caring person and a very valued employee at Rent-a-Back, a company that provides a service mostly for older people doing things that they can no longer do. In an effort to improve himself, Barnaby begins a relationship with Sophia who represents stability to him and his family. In the end, he realizes that he has to live his life for himself and do the things that make him happy.

At first I really disliked Barnaby. He had no ambition, his thought processes were odd and sometimes creepy, he was at time a wimp and other times, rude; and he couldn't even remember how old his daughter was. But he grew on me as he begins to value his relationship with his daughter more and to learn to like himself better. I especially liked how Tyler portrays the older people in this story. She certainly doesn't sugar-coat age and its problems, but these people still have dignity and feelings. The best parts are Barnaby's interactions with his clients. The book started out very slowly but my interest increased as I read and I ended up liking it.

Rating: 4


  1. I listened to this on audio ages ago and remember that I liked it very much. I think it was my intro into the works of Anne Tyler.

  2. This sounds good. I read The Accidental Tourist and really liked it.

  3. I had a hard time with this one, personally. But I totally support others' rights to like it. :)