Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Paperback - 2005
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Funny, heart-hammering, wise...An extremely beautiful book." -- The New York Times

"A Book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read." -- The Boston Globe

Abandoned by her wanderlusting husband, stoic Pearl raised her three children on her own. Now grown, the siblings are inextricably linked by their memories--some painful--which hold them together despite their differences. Hardened by life's disappointments, wealthy, charismatic Cody has turned cruel and envious. Thrice-married Jenny is errant and passionate. And Ezra, the flawed saint of the family, who stayed at home to look after his mother, runs a restaurant where he cooks what other people are homesick for, stubbornly yearning for the perfect family he never had. Now gathered during a time of loss, they will reluctantly unlock the shared secrets of their past and discover if what binds them together is stronger than what tears them apart.
Soulful and redemptive--full of heartbreak and hope--this portrait of a family will remind you why Anne Tyler is one of the most beloved writers working today.

"[In Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Tyler] has arrived at a new level of power." --John Updike, The New Yorker

"Marvelous, astringent, hilarious, [and] strewn with the banana peels of love." -- Cosmopolitan
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2005, c2004.
Edition: Ballantine Books Trade pbk. edition
ISBN: 9780449911594
0449911594
Characteristics: 326 pages ;,21 cm.

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l
LoganLib_Central
Nov 26, 2015

Selected for the Logan Central Monday Book Club in 2016. For a full list of 2016 selections, see the Logan Central Monday Book Club list.

s
SuzeParker
Oct 17, 2015

I've struggled with how to review this book ever since I finished it. On the one hand, it's incredibly well written, multi-layered and literary, with defined characters. On the other hand, it's just so darned depressing that it was hard not to give up on the whole Tull lot and leave them to their sad, little lives. This is not to say that Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant should be skipped over. Tyler writes books of substance, and this is no exception.

p
pokano
Jun 27, 2013

The tale of a dysfunctional American family. Anne Tyler makes you care about these hugely flawed people who can never manage to eat a "family" dinner together without one of them getting up and leaving in a huff. Ending is a bit predictable, but otherwise an excellent read!

JCLBeckyC Jun 15, 2013

The fictional Tulls are, sadly, a family we all know: a single mom trying to raise three kids after her husband abandons the family. Having divorced parents myself, the Tull’s family dynamics resonate within me qualities I recognize from my family of origin. The tense moments of silence within the house punctuated by enraged voices. The children wondering what they did to cause their daddy’s absence. The parents wondering where it all went wrong.

The difference between the Tull family and most families of divorce today is communication. Today people are encouraged to talk about their feelings, whether privately as a family, or with a therapist as a referee. If Daddy leaves, family discussions help everyone deal with the trauma. In Homesick, which spans the decades from the 1930s to the 1970s, Pearl refuses to talk to her children about their father’s absence. One night her husband Beck tells Pearl he’s leaving, and she adapts by pretending he’s just away on a long business trip. This denial and secrecy exacerbate an already traumatic event, and we see the effects played out through each family member for generations. Highly recommended for book clubs or anyone with an interest in family dysfunction.

b
B00kL0ver
Sep 19, 2012

Another slow, hard to follow Anne Tyler book. By the time you painfully make it to the end of the book, you're left thinking "what the heck...?"

m
mudflapflossy
Jul 14, 2012

Now this is great literature! It follows the lives of three siblings: Cody is bitter & envious, Ezra kind but excessively passive and Jenn is overly impulsive with a penchant for marrying the wrong men. After their father deserts the family, they’re left to be raised by their mother Pearl Tull, a rigid perfectionist with a definite mean streak. What struck a cord for me was how all three children growing up in the same household could all remember their childhood so differently. I thought it was hilarious that they couldn’t make it through a meal together without one of them storming off in a huff. It’s a raw sort of story, not a lot of kissy / huggy going on, but it’s real. Finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1983. According to Wiki Anne Tyler considers it her best work.

t
technojoy
Jun 06, 2011

The first chapter of this book could stand on its own as one of the most beautiful and haunting short stories in the English language. Possibly my favourite book by Anne Tyler.

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m
mudflapflossy
Jul 17, 2012

Pearl Tull comments on her ageing
"I'm falling into disrepair”

m
mudflapflossy
Jul 17, 2012

you make your own luck

m
mudflapflossy
Jul 14, 2012

Favorite quote: “Cody, in particular referred continually to Pearl’s short temper, displaying it against a background of stunned, childish faces so sad & bewildered that Pearl herself hardly recognized them. Honestly, she thought, wasn’t there some statute of limitations here? When was he going to absolve her? He was middle-aged. He had no business holding her responsible anymore.”

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