Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

This is a Pulitzer prize winning novel. I did not know what it was about when I started to read it. It’s one day in the life of an older couple Ira and Maggie Moran.

The characters in this novel felt real. Maggie felt uncomfortably real. She had all this weird peculiarities to her which made her so human. I cringed when reading her thoughts and actions, but it didn’t seem unrealistic to me that this is a kind of woman that existed in the world. I couldn’t relate to her but I did feel some sympathy. Ira was more similar to me, but his character is not explored in as much depth. These characters felt real and it’s a testamount to Tyler’s characterizations and dialogue. However, I do not think I pick up another book of hers anytime soon. The pace of the plot was slow and it was too cringe-worthy for me.

While it was not bleak, it was not exactly feel good novel either. I do not need a chirpy novel all the time, but it was a bit draining to read Maggie’s interfering plots. I definitely do not regret reading this book. I feel it’s important to read about characters who are not like you. Tyler does it well. I liked the writing but I didn’t love it either prose wise.

Read August 18, 2018.

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