A review by nocto
Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

hopeful reflective relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


The moment you meet Micah Mortimer and hear all the details of his tidy ordered life you know that something is going to blow in to screw it all up for him. That's just obviously what is going to happen right from the beginning of page 1. But if you read this book waiting for the big thing to happen you'll miss all the little things that aren't quite right. And it's the little things that really make this book work. The tiny details and the tiny ways that things can go awry. How you think you want perfection but that gets more and more impossible the more times you try to find it. 

I like Anne Tyler's writing because it concentrates on the small everyday things that make a life work, or not work. Some of her books show this over a long period of time, but this one is only a matter of weeks, if that, and yet it still works very well. I'd have liked there to be more of it, but then it wouldn't have been the same book, so I'm very happy with it like this.