A sweet book about loss
The central character of Tyler’s short book,is an unexpected widower. Aaron, an ordinary small town American man on the cusp of middle age, loses his equally ordinary doctor wife in an unexpected accident.
Which is to say, in Tyler’s world, perfectly ordinary means perfectly eccentrically unique, rather than a 2D cipher – she focuses on the weird, the quirky, the outside-the -boxness of each of us.
So outside the box in fact that Aaron begins to see his wife Dorothy start to materialise.
But this is not a ghost story, nor is it a story of psychological unhinging. If anything, its a story of how we start unhinged from our emotions, unhinged from real reality, unaware of life going by, and how we make connections again. Aaron is a disconnected man, and his marriage to Dorothy was not quite the way he saw it. The book’s journey is the journey of most of the characters in the book – pretty well all are quirky and somewhat prickly isolationists, – towards something more tender and appreciative, somewhere more emotionally engaged.
It is a very sweet, well written and charming book,it doesn’t say anything particularly new or revelatory, but is very true to itself, unshowy, well-crafted
I appreciate the modest, subtle, quirky delicacy of Tyler’s vision