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THE TIN CAN TREE by Anne Tyler Kirkus Star


A Novel

by Anne Tyler

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1965
ISBN: 0449911896
Publisher: Knopf

The remarkable Miss Tyler is again concerned (as in If Morning, Ever Comes) with the blessed and mysterious ways of gatherings and congregations—the company one chooses on one Journey of isolation; the home ties that bind or burn away; the quiet containments. Again settings stir nostalgia—a creaking wooden porch, the sun blanched fields, a working kitchen in tobacco country, a bus stop at a lonely small town drug store. As in the timeless memorial of a photograph, people at any moment are choosing or have made their choices. James, believing that his dislike of his father was the one pure emotion in his life, continues to make a home for Ansel, his weak, disagreeable and hypochondriac brother, and chooses to listen to Joan, who loves him. The neighbor, Mrs. Pike, sunk in guilt and grief with the death of her six-year-old daughter, decides to live out her days as a responsible mother for her ten-year-old son, Stephen. Joan returns to the Pikes unsure of James' love after an abortive escape to her parents. Drawn by the promise of love and hope, the runaways come back to what was somehow true and right, and at a neighborly party, pose for a photograph, bound together, but "with each clutching separately his own glass of wine." Deceptively simple, hauntingly real, a glowing talent.