A Patchwork Planet
"Barnaby Gaitlin is a loser - just short of thirty he's the black sheep of a philanthropic Baltimore family. Once upon a time he had a home, a loving wife, a little family of his own; now he has an ex-wife, a 9-year old daughter with attitude, a Corvette Sting Ray that's a collector's item but unreliable, and he works as hired muscle for Rent -a-Back, doing heavy chores for old folks. He has an almost patholo-gical curiosity about other people's lives, which has got him into serious trouble in the past, and a hopeless charm which attracts the kind of angelic woman who wants to save him from himself. Tyler's observation is more acute, more delicious than ever; her humour slyer and more irresistible; her characters so vividly realised that you feel you've known this quirky collection for ever. With perfect pitch and poise, humour and humanity, Anne Tyler chronicles, better than any writer today, the sublime and the ridiculous of everyday living, the foibles and frailties of the ordinary human heart.