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Ron Charles…a small story that provides an interesting variation on those dismal tales of aging by [Philip] Roth & Co…"Just trying to stay afloat"—neither sinking into Roth's existential despair nor ascending into Oprah's blinding self-delight—that's the difficult, totally unhip theme that Tyler takes clear to the end of this understated novel. In fact, Noah's Compass is likely to dissatisfy many of the author's fans, who have come to count on her for more fully resolved tragedies or more satisfying personal insights. Instead, with Liam, she has articulated the melancholy stasis of many older people's lives.
—The Washington Post