Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
A Novel

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Synopsis

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye.


"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.

The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else’s?

On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation—something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family’s crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, a divorcé with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms.

Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught un-awares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it—how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been—is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

As always with Anne Tyler’s novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser.
 

About Anne Tyler

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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her eighteenth novel. Her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Published July 31, 2001 by Ballantine Books. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Back When We Were Grownups

Kirkus Reviews

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The Family Davitch--dazzling and daunting, dismal and dysfunctional--arrives in Tyler's delicious l5th novel (A Patchwork Planet, 1998, etc.).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Back When We Were Grownups: A...

Publishers Weekly

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On the first page of Tyler's stunning new novel, Rebecca Davitch, the heroine (and heroine is exactly the right word) realizes that she has become the "wrong person." No longer the "

Apr 09 2001 | Read Full Review of Back When We Were Grownups: A...

Book Reporter

Although her last book, A PATCHWORK PLANET, left a great deal to be desired in its not-so-loveable protagonist, BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS offers us the engaging Beck, a party planner in her 50s who lives to make others' lives happy and celebratory.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Back When We Were Grownups: A...

Large Print Reviews

... Back When We Were Grownups, a book review of Anne Tyler's new novel.
Reviews of Large Print and Audio Books, as well as other products ...

May 24 2001 | Read Full Review of Back When We Were Grownups: A...

Reader Rating for Back When We Were Grownups
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