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Ladder of Years Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1996

3.5 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Apr 1996
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ivy Books (April 1996)
  • ISBN-10: 0804114927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804114929
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Delia Grinstead begins a new life in Tyler's (Saint Maybe, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/93) latest by simply walking away from her family's vacation at the beach. She spends the next year reinventing herself, no longer the doctor's faithful and timid wife, the dutiful mother of three, the practical sister. Finally, she discovers a life of her own; for the first time she is independent, away from the home and practice her husband inherited from her father. The detachment the author puts Delia through is common Tyler territory: at times surprising, at times perfectly mundane as Delia re-creates a life and an identity in almost idyllic Bayborough, Maryland. C.J. Critt gives her usual skillful narration. Tyler fans will appreciate the familiar twists on the commonplace and the author's endearing characters. For most public libraries.?Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her 17th novel. Her 11th, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. A member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

No Bio --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
And that's saying a lot, because I really really like Anne Tyler and have read many (if not most) of her books. Her narrative style is so sympathetic and so utterly comforting that it's like slippinginto an old cashmere sweater or your favourite sweats. It takes no effort whatsoever to read, and just reels you right in from the first page. I bought my copy years ago and it's now worn down from repeated reads. Anytime I want something comforting and familiar, and yet completely absorbing, this is the book I turn too.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read a few of Anne Tyler's novels and I would say this is the weakest of the lot. It's about a woman who wanders away from her husband and family on an ostenisble journey to find herself. As the book progresses, you can assume that the themes of an unhappy marriage will be explored, and on the surface they are. I found the husband/wife relationship in "Breathing Lessons" to be a much more satisfying read. Also, this book totally falls apart at the end. You spend your time with the book, thinking the threads will form some beautiful tapestry at the end, but all you're left with is a bunch of frayed yarn. I would recommend this for hard-core Anne Tyler fans ONLY.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book Ladder of Years is the story about a woman who leaves her family to create a completely new one with no ties from her past attached. The only part of her past that she chooses to keep is her name, for the practical purpose of identification rather than sentimentality. This book brings to surface many conflicting emotions and ideas about family responsibilities, marriage, and the search for self-purpose. The main character, Delia, chooses to go against what is socially expected and leaves her husband and her family without so much as a backwards glance. Her reason's for doing so toy with the readers emotions. Is Delia justified in her reasons to leave everything including her children? Or is she a selfish, middle-aged woman trying to see how things could have been if the past she accepted had been different. The book moves at a quick pace through Delia's life, one season quickly moving through to the next, but it reads slower due to the almost monotone way of Delia's new way of living. Upon finishing this book I felt that Delia was selfish in the desertion of her family and that she should not have been readily accepted back into the past that she had left with few regrets. Through Delia's experience the reader is confronted with the idea that marriages don't work, something will happen to bring about failure. This pattern is seen over and over throughout the book including in the life of Delia's own daughter. Concidering this point, I would recommend this book for those who wish to see how things would have been, and for those who are newly engaged and on the path to wedded bliss, beware!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was not thrilled with this novel. I wonder if it is because I had trouble relating with the characters, especially Delia. She was so passive it drove me nuts. She always ran away from her problems instead of trying to work them out. She ran away from her family and her job as a secretary, and finally Noah and Joel. I had trouble seeing past my irritation with Delia. I beleive that if you want things to change you must take the initiative and do whatever it takes to make change happen. There were many other things Delia could have tried before leaving her family. I was glad that Delia had found her independence, even though I do not agree with her means of attaining it. The cat symbolism was interesting and did add depth to my reading experience, but it was not enough turn my opinion of the novel around. The final dissappointment of this book was the ending. Delia came creeping back to the same world she had left behind. I felt like the story was just a large cirle, that ended up in the same place as it began.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I initially found Anne Tyler's writing style dry, and her reluctance to delve into her character's psyche's disappointing, by the end of this novel, I actually began to appreciate how this approach allowed my imagination to fill in the gaps. I felt I almost knew more about the main character, Delia, by all the things she DIDN'T say, rather than by the little she did say. I also appreciated living vicariously through her when she literally walked away from her unappreciative family and began a new life apart from them. Although I was angry that she stayed away from her children as long as she did and did not even try to contact them, I did admire the courage it took (although she never did seem truly frightened)for her to take the time she needed to come to terms with herself, BY herself. Now that I think of it, however, she probably was never afraid of being on her own because she knew that help from Sam, or even her sisters, was only a phone call away. And it is that fact -- that unconditional acceptance from her family about her choice to run away -- that left me annoyed and yet just a little bit envious at this modern day fairy tale,where everything seems to turn out okay in the end. No one seems more than slightly ticked off that Delia left for a year.
She just waltzes back into everyone's life and things go on pretty much as usual. No questions (or too few, anyway) asked. Well, I guess that's why it's called fiction. Still, I would recommend this book because of its commentaries about marriage, families and not taking those we love for granted.
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