Thursday, September 20, 2012

Anne Tyler - A Slipping-Down Life

I love Anne Tyler's books, and rarely let one go by unread.  Considering that, it is strange that I have written a review of only one book of hers, Breathing Lessons.  I found the book captivating.  It won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1989.  The first Anne Tyler book I read was Searching for Caleb.  I have been hooked to her ever since.

Coming back to A Slipping-Down Life, the novel opens with Evie Decker a fat, unpopular teenager in Pulqua, North Carolina. She has one friend in school, Violet.  At home-between the busy housekeeper Clotelia and her father Sam Decker, who keeps to himself-Evie finds herself lonesome.  She listens to the radio a lot.  That is how she learns about Bertram Drumsticks Casey, who is a rock and roll singer who plays at the local nightclub, Unicorn.

Fat and frumpy Evie has no chance of catching the attention of Casey.  On an impulse, after a performance of his, she cuts his name upon her forehead.  Casey's drummer and manager David thinks her little caper can win the fledgling band some publicity.  Things are looking up for all of them.  Evie is happy to be close to Casey, despite his discomfort at her presence.  David is happy things are working out for his band.  They soon get an offer to play in another fancy club a little way away.  Evie feels she should break with Casey now, as he refused to soften up to her.

Those were the only times they met face to face.  They were the only times Evie lost the feeling that she was tugging at Drum's sleeve while he stood with his back to her, gazing outwards toward something she couldn't see.
 Just when Evie wants to give up on Casey, he fails.  He is kicked out of the new nightclub because he flirted with the owner's daughter.  His father wants nothing to do with him, and his mother is also angry with him.  Evie finds him on her porch, beaten and tired with nowhere else to go.  She finds her heart melting for him once again.

...when he suddenly tightened his arms around her, pulling her close, it came as a surprise.
 "Don't fret, I'm here," he said.
 But such promises are rarely kept.  A slipping-down life takes a look at two teenagers, both losers in their own way, as they try to make a life together.

Another beautiful little novella by Anne Tyler, just 154 pages long, about life in a small town, with its limited choices, that makes its inhabitants behave in an odd fashion at times.  Anne Tyler has a knack of making commonplace look so attractive.  Her books are almost always winners, and so is this one.


Anonymous said...

so does it have a happy end?
Sounds cute, sort of an alternative M&B!
*don't hit me*

Cutting somebody's name on your head is a bit drastic, but I think we all know how it is to be infatuated or be in love with somebody, who doesn't reciprocate it! One just can't but root for Evie!

Ava said...

I am sure Evie did fine with her life. :) It's Drum Casey who needs some worrying :)

I know my second quote from the book makes it sound like an M&B romance, but the book is anything but.

It is a slice of life in a small dull town.

wanderer said...

Hi, I am shreya chatterjee. I dropped in here- for I was looking for book reviewers based in India-

Ava said...

Hi Shreya,

I accepted your friend request on FB.

You can get in touch with me there.

Carole said...

Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

Carole said...

Thanks for linking this in. If you pop back in a few days there should be a lovely collection of book links. I have just signed up to follow you. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or are you already following? Cheers

Carole said...

thank you very much for following Carole's Chatter. Have a fantabulous week!

Elizabeth said...

Cute blog...thanks for your book post.

Stopping by from Carole's Books I Loved Post.

Silver's Reviews

Carole said...

Just a note to let you know that your link in to Books You Loved: October was showcased in the November edition which has just posted. Would love to see another contribution from you this month! This is the link - Books You Loved November Edition