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9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list!
"A novel that attests once again to Ms. Tyler's enormous gifts as a writer."
--THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Captivating . . . . Compelling . . . . There is a kind of magic at work in this novel."
--THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
In 1965, the happy Bedloe family is living an ideal, apple-pie existence in Baltimore. Then, in the blink of an eye, a single tragic event occurs that will transform their lives forever--particularly that of seventeen-year-old Ian Bedloe, the youngest son, who blames himself for the sudden "accidental" death of his older brother.
Depressed and depleted, Ian is almost crushed under the weight of an unbearable, secret guilt. Then one crisp January evening, he catches sight of a window with glowing yellow neon, the CHURCH OF THE SECOND CHANCE. He enters and soon discovers that forgiveness must be earned, through a bit of sacrifice and a lot of love...
A New York Times Notable Book
gigantic, explosive, complicated crash and then a delicate tinkle and then silence. Ian went on staring into his own eyes. He couldn’t seem to look away. He couldn’t even blink, couldn’t move, because once he moved then time would start rolling forward again, and he already knew that nothing in his life would ever be the same. 2 The Department of Reality When the baby woke from her afternoon nap, she made a noise like singing. “La!” she called. But the only ones who heard were Thomas and
flood again. She lay down in bed and pulled the covers up and listened to her mother moving around the house. Every sound meant something: the TV clicking on and then off, a drawer in the living room opening and then closing, the clang of a metal ashtray on the coffee table. Their mother smoked only when she was upset, holding the cigarette in some wrong-looking way with her fingers sticking out too straight. Agatha heard the scrape of a match, the pushed, tired sound of her breath whooshing
they’d phoned earlier, I mean. They’d feel so guilty.” He leaned against the wall and briefly closed his eyes. “So we’ve set the funeral for Friday,” his mother said, “assuming her people agree to it. Did she ever happen to tell you who her people were?” “She didn’t have any. You know that.” “Well, distant relatives, though. Isn’t it odd? I don’t believe she once mentioned her maiden name.” “Lucy … Dean,” Ian said. “Dean was her name.” “No, Dean would have been her first husband’s name.”
billow of sprigged skirt puffing out the back of the fat woman’s chair. “For our sister Clarice,” the minister said finally. “Amen,” the congregation murmured, and they straightened. “Any other prayers, any other prayers,” the minister said. “No request is beyond Him.” On the other side of Ian’s neighbor, a gray-haired woman rose and placed her purse on her seat. Then she faced forward, gripping the chair in front of her. “You all know my son Chuckie was fighting in Vietnam,” she said. There
inherent frailties and eccentricities.… Anne Tyler is a master at discovering these peculiarities and writing about them with clear-eyed affection.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Wonderful … A novel that is old-fashioned in its moralism. And completely convincing and refreshing.” Detroit Free Press “ONE OF FICTION’S ABSOLUTE MASTERS … Compassionately and convincingly drawn … The classic Tyler trademarks appear immediately, the warmth and humor of the narrative voice, as if the novel were being