When Joe Davitch first saw Rebecca, it was at a party at the Davitch home - a crumbling nineteenth-century house in Baltimore where giving parties was the family business. Young Rebecca looked to Joe like the girl having more fun than anyone in the room and he wanted some of that happiness to spill over onto him, a 33-year-old divorce with three little girls. Swept away, Rebecca soon found herself mistress of 'The Open Arms', embracing not only this large spirited man and his extended family but expertly hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms where people pay to have family celebrations in style. But now, years after she has lost her husband in a car accident, Beck (as she is known to the Davitch clan) asks herself whether she is an impostor in her own life. Is she really this natural-born celebrator, joyous and outgoing? Can she always be there for Poppy, her almost 100-ear-old uncle-in-law who lives on the top floor, for stepdaughters - Biddy and NoNo and Patch and the husbands and fiances, as they come and go, and their children - and for her own daughter Min Foo, pregnant again?
What would have happened if she'd married her blond college sweetheart, Will, back then when they were so young and so serious and so sure about everything? Can one ever recover the person one has left behind - and would one ever like them? With perfect pitch, Anne Tyler explores these unsettling questions of love and loss, of identity and family, moving with breathtaking assurance between heartbreak and hilarity, between tenderness and razor-sharp observation in a novel that we wish would never end.
One of five Anne Tyler novels reissued in stunning new jackets 20011227
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her first novel, If Morning Ever Comes, was published in 1964 whilst her 11th novel, Breathing Lessons, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. In 1994, Tyler was nominated 'the greatest living novelist writing in English' by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.