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When Mercy Garrett moves herself out of the family home, everyone determines not to notice.
All she wants is space and silence. No clutter. Not even their cat, Desmond.
But it turns out family life is impossible to escape - particularly when it's in your past. For Mercy it all begins in 1959, with a holiday to a cabin by a lake. It's the only one the Garretts will ever take, but its effects will ripple through the generations.
The glorious Sunday Times bestseller follows one family's joys and heartbreaks, mistakes and secrets, from the 1950s right up to today
'Gorgeous, charming, profound, and written with such lightness of touch' MARIAN KEYES
'A perfect work of fiction' MEG MASON
'She is and always will be my favourite author' LIANE MORIARTY
'Exquisitely crafted, tender, hilarious, devastatingly precise, I loved this powerful meditation on the small and often unvoiced moments that can make up a life' RACHEL JOYCE
'Anne Tyler really is the best... Her sheer brilliance makes it all seems so effortless' GRAHAM NORTON
'A faultless novel, effortlessly profound. I read it in two sittings, totally immersed' VICTORIA HISLOP
Tyler (Redhead by the Side of the Road) returns with a dry and well-crafted look at a family that inexplicably comes apart over several decades. Serena Drew, a 20-something Baltimore grad student traveling with her boyfriend, James, thinks she recognizes her cousin, Nicholas Garrett, in the crowd at a Philadelphia train station in 2010, but she can't say for sure because she hasn't seen him for years. "You guys give a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘once removed,' " James says, and wonders if "some deep dark secret" might explain why Serena rarely sees her aunt Alice or her uncle David, Nicholas's father. But the explanation, as it happens, is not so simple. This also turns out not to be Serena's story, as Tyler leaves the young couple for late 1950s Baltimore, where Alice; Serena's mother, Lily; and David are raised by their mismatched parents, a socially awkward plumber named Robin and begrudging housewife Mercy, who wants to be an artist. Once the parents become empty nesters, Mercy spends most of her days and nights in her neighboring studio. There are no big reveals, but Tyler's focus on character development proves fruitful; a reunion organized by the wistful Robin in the '90s is particularly affecting, as is a coda with David during the Covid-19 pandemic. As always, Tyler offers both comfort and surprise.