Review: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – Anne Tyler

Posted 8 June, 2007 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 2 Comments

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Title: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
Author: Anne Tyler
Date read: June 4, 2007
Rating: 2.5/5

What can I say about this book that so many others seem to love? Well, there are books about dysfunctional families that have some sort of redemptive ending, and then there are books that are just about dysfunctional families. This book falls into the latter category for me.

I read this book for my Booksamonth reading group on yahoo and had heard such great things about the book. I wanted to like it, I really really did.

But I didn’t. The book is about Pearl Tull and her children Cody, Ezra, and Jenny. Pearl’s husband leaves one day for a business trip and doesn’t come back (Cody, the eldest is 14). The remainder of the book tells the story of their lives from that point forward. One of the more qualititive parts of the novel is that it switches between the points of view of the different characters. So, not only does the reader get to see Pearl’s opinion, but we also get to experience the events through Cody, Ezra, and Jenny–all three children shed a very different light on their lives.

Perspective aside, I found the book incredibly depressing and I couldn’t believe the ending. While part of the event at the end (no spoilers) was expected, I was very disappointed in how the characters reacted. I wanted a book about a family who grew stronger after a horrible incident, but the book is more about four separate and distinct individuals who act as individuals instead of parts to a whole.

Recommendations: While the book was very easy and fast to read, I’m at a loss of who I would recommend the book to. Sorry for all of you Anne Tyler fans. This is my first Anne Tyler book, and probably my last.

2 Responses to “Review: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – Anne Tyler”

  1. Thanks for stopping in over at my blog!

    I can understand how you felt about this book – but I’m one of those die-hard Anne Tyler fans, and love how she develops her characters, even though she doesn’t always finish with ‘happily ever after!’

    I’m having fun reading your blog – you and I seem to read similar books! I’ve added you to my bloglines :)