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This book is AWFUL!!! DO NOT READ IT!!!!!!! there is NO plot and the characters are GROSS!!!!!!
A Patchwork Planet
Anne Tyler is a great writer, no doubt. Her book, A Patchwork Planet is a great read but I found the ending somewhat unsatisfactory. At the beginning he admired Sophia's "definiteness" and routines and were an influence on his own journey. I got a sense that he used her. And, I cannot see anyone who claims he is honest and trusting, going into someone's house and taking what is not his, for any reason. He was definitely taking a chance by breaking the law (again). A little bit of conflict there. As much as we want to trust our partners one has to admit that Barnaby did get into a lot of trouble and even at the beginning of the book was somewhat of a rogue and unreliable. My sympathy goes to Sophia. We are all responsible for the choices we make as adults.
I am teaching this novel to over 100 juniors in a suburban high school. It has opened their eyes to a world of characters they can relate to and learn from. Barnaby is everyone's older brother (or themselves) who just can't seem to get it right. His clients are everyone's grandparents. They see their parents in the Gaitlins, and they cheer for Barnaby's quick wit and promise to repay them. They see their own lives and their own mistakes that could affect them down the road. Like Tyler's previous characters, we want to love Barnaby and beat some sense into him at the same time. It's a story that can teach us all, whether we are eighteen or eighty-one, about choice and love and trust.
Easy summer-time read. The characters are very believable...Barnaby's clients could be your parent or grandparent. You walk along with Barnaby Gaitlin watching him evolve from a delinquent teen to a man who is comfortable with the person he has become in spite of the wealthy family influences that are a constant reminder of what he could/should have been. It's a story about perceptions and the level of trust and the choices we make based upon those perceptions.