This is the story of the Garrett family who live in Baltimore – Mercy, Robin and their three children Alice, Lily and David. It begins as they have their first family vacation in 1959 at Deep Creek Lake, before the children have grown up, and continues until the children have families of their own.
The Washington Independent Review of Books calls this “the quietest possible story with the sparest of plots”, and this is definitely a character-driven story, each character in this flawed, but realistic, family portrayed with tenderness. The Guardian comments: “The author continues to deftly mine the tensions and resentments of family life with a tender and sprawling saga set across six tumultuous decades”.
“Oh, a French braid,” Greta said. “That’s it. And then when she undid them, her hair would still be in ripples, little leftover squiggles, for hours and hours afterward.” “Yes…” “Well,” David said, “that’s how families work, too. You think you’re free of them, but you’re never really free; the ripples are crimped in forever.”
“The trouble with wide-open families was, there was something very narrow about their attitude to not-open families.”
Author: Anne Tyler