Thursday, September 09, 2010

Noah’s Compass
by Anne Tyler

Noah’s ark was not going anywhere. It just bobbed about in the water without a sail or engine to chart a course. Liam Pennywell is much like Noah’s ark in that he doesn’t seem to have a purpose other than staying afloat.
As the story begins, Liam has been “laid off” from his teaching job and is downsizing to a smaller apartment in a somewhat seedy complex. One of his work colleagues and his daughter’s teenage boyfriend help Liam move in, and as soon as his bed is made, he wearily goes to sleep. The next thing Liam knows, he wakes up in the hospital and learns that he had been assaulted by a burglar. Liam can’t remember anything about the attack and becomes obsessed with retrieving the memory of his assault.
The rest of the story revolves around Liam’s interactions with his semi-estranged family members and a lonely younger woman who finds him attractive.
Why is this book called “Noah’s Compass”? Because the assault served as the compass pointing the direction to those who were important in his life.
This novel is strictly a character study. There is very little action. I do enjoy reading a good character study from time to time and this one will fill the bill for awhile.
Now I need to find something with a lively plot!



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