Redhead by the Side of the Road – Anne Tyler

Full disclosure: I love Anne Tyler’s writing. In this slim novel, she continues her theme of writing about ordinary but quirky people in Baltimore. Micah is a 42-year old man who lives a predictable life, constrained by precise patterns of behaviour. “Sometimes when he was dealing with people he felt like he was operating one of those claw machines on a boardwalk, those shovel things where you tried to scoop up prizes but the controls were too unwieldy and you worked at too great a remove”. Can Micah find happiness? Tyler describes funny and poignant situations with introspective wisdom.

A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Tyler’s 20th novel is, once again, about a Baltimore family, 3 generations. The writing is elegant, with a subtle reveal of strong emotions: love but also bewilderment and surprising strengths in surprising situations. Characters that we initially dismiss as shallow turn out to be stronger than we expected or suspected. Tyler continues to be a literary treasure.