978-0-679-43941-7 / 9780679439417

Ladder of years





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About the book:

2 cassettes / 3 hours
Read by Barbara Barrie

--Chicago Tribune

Anne Tyler tells the story of a forty-year-old woman, the mother of three almost grown children, who, on a sudden impulse, walks away from her marriage, hitches a ride into the unknown, and settles in a strange new town to invent a new life.

What propels Delia Grinstead, the wife of a Baltimore physician, as she is spending another rainy vacation with husband, children, and assorted relatives?  Is it old hurts and humiliations that surface this particular summer?  The feeling that she has become expendable?  The memory, perhaps, of that angular young man in the supermarket who asked her to pose as his girlfriend when he runs into his ex-wife?  Or is it simply the lure of the local repairman's beautifully self-sufficient van, sailing off, unencumbered?  Whatever, Delia takes off, wearing only her swimsuit and her husband's beach robe, and doesn't stop until she is suddenly captivated by a quiet little tree-lined town.  There she halts the van, hopes off, finds a room to rent, and settles in.  So begins her new, impersonal life as Ms. Grinstead.  But inevitable, the world crowds in.  New friends, new responsibilities accumulate - from a stray cat who craves a hone to a sad, deserted husband, and his little boy who need her to fill a hole in their lives.

Once again, Anne Tyler dazzles us with her magic.

"TYLER DETAILS DELIA'S ADVENTURE WITH GREAT SKILL. . . . As so often in her earlier fiction, [she] creates distinct characters caught in poignantly funny situations. . . . Tyler writes with a clarity that makes the commonplace seem fresh and the pathetic touching."
--The New York Times

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