The Beginner's Goodbye

The Beginner's Goodbye


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The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler, Kirby Heybourne

Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617076107
Publisher: Findaway World
Publication date: 04/28/2012
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


Baltimore, Maryland

Date of Birth:

October 25, 1941

Place of Birth:

Minneapolis, Minnesota


B.A., Duke University, 1961

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The Beginner's Goodbye 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
librarianDS More than 1 year ago
I believe I've read everything Anne Tyler has written and I am a big fan of her books. She has an even-handed quirky approach to life's mysteries; her books are fast-paced and her characters are memorable. My alltime favorite is The Accidental Tourist, closely followed by Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Breathing Lessons. TBG is not up to the mark of her previous books. To begin with, it is more a novella, under 200 pages, and her characters are more charictures than full-blown people. Aaron is didactic and caustic, Dorothy is stodgy and clinical, Nandina is hovering and bossy, Gil is salt-of-the-earth. Aaron's turnaround is less than logical, almost an aboutface to hook up with the most vulnerable character in the book. This is close to a romance, which the excellent Back When We Were Grownups skillfully side steps.
E_M_13423 More than 1 year ago
Only in his mid-30's, Aaron Wolcott, walks with a limp and depends on a cane for balance. An illness when young left him slightly paralyzed. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in English, but after college ended up working in the family's publishing Company editing books. At 24, he meets Dr. Dorothy, an oncologist, who is 8 years his senior, and, an introvert and loner like himself. After just 4 months, they marry and have a happy marriage of 10 years. Dorothy dies in a freak accident, when a tree crashes through the roof of their small home. She was only 43. The Beginner's Goodbye, is a deeply moving story. It's a story about love, loss, forgiveness and acceptance. The story left me with a lot to think about, and the ending ultimately left me smiling. This is one of my favorites of Anne Tyler. I love the way she writes; she puts so much meaning into the simplest gestures with her perfect word choice. This story is bittersweet but charming and memorable and very heart warming.
RC_News More than 1 year ago
Another Tyleresque oddball Baltimorean learns about love and loss. Wasn't sure how much I liked it in the middle, but she gives a good wrap-up at the end, which I quite liked. An engaging read from a dependable author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy Anne Tyler's fiction, but I cannot figure out if I really liked this book or not. The main character wasn't very likable, although I did find his friends and family amusing and quirky. The premise was interesting and well-drawn, but the ending was a little too pat. The book kept me interested, but I kept waiting for more substance and plot. This latest Tyler endeavor is hard for me to figure out., but it is definitely worth a try. You may love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story deals with a very unusual way in which a man deals with grief. Let's just say you never know what will happen next in his journey. I found it very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed with this book. I thought the without could have given a deeper look into the characters. The end came ttoo soon and left me wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please keep writing anne,my very favorite writer,
mimi1952 More than 1 year ago
Don't think this was Anne Tyler's best book. It just never grabbed me. There wasn't much character development so you were left wondering about the characters past. It felt to me like there were too many stories going on. And the ending felt like it was an after thought because she couldn't think of a good ending.
AndyAC More than 1 year ago
As much as I like Ann Tyler's books, this was just, well, tedious
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful perspective on loss, grieving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Great story. She's the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In The Beginner's Goodbye, Aaron, the narrator, who has been crippled and fussed over since childhood, must cope with the sudden and unexpected loss of his wife, Dorothy, who is also a bit of a misfit, and rebuild his life without her presence in it. Things are complicated by Dorthy's sudden and periodic reappearances. I enjoyed looking over Aaron's shoulder as he realizes that though he is surrounded by others who are sort of goofy, he is goofy, too (just as he and Dorothy always were, even if they didn't think so at the time), as he learns to say goodbye. An enjoyable novel, with some--as always with Tyler--lovely writing.
TrickyTINA More than 1 year ago
I eagerly await the release of each new Anne Tyler book, and I have enjoyed them all, including this one. The only fault that I can find with this book is that it was too short. It was only 146 color nook pages, which seems more like a novella than a book and $12.99 is too expensive for a novella. That being said, I still enjoyed reading this book, and really enjoyed getting to know each character. I'm rating it four stars, taking away one star for the brevity of the book itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is a sample doofus.
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LadyStarDragomir More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading The Beginner's Goodbye. It is written by Anne Tyler. It's about this man who looses his wife tragically. He's coping with her loss and dealing with getting his house back in order. He starts seeing his wife in various places months after she dies. He doesn't know why or how it happened. I'm personally on the fence about this book. I loved the storyline itself, but I was not very fond of the way it was written. I feel it could have been more detailed and informative. Some of the parts that I feel were important to the story were chopped and poorly described. I also was not very fond of the main character. I found him very self centered and rude. I'm sure there will be others that will get more out of this than I did. I don't find the book bad at all. I just think it could have been written a little better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
My new favorite of Anne Tyler's books!  I originally ordered the Beginner's Goodbye for my Nook, simply because it was written by Anne Tyler. I can't imagine that Ms. Tyler would be able to write a bad book, if she tried. I've read most of them, and haven't been proven wrong yet. But this book ended up being even better than I expected. Beginner's Goodbye, the story of a man dealing with the death of his wife, is the kind of book that can make you late for work, because you make the mistake of thinking "I can read just a few pages," and then you  don't want to put it down. It's the kind of book you find yourself thinking about, while you are at work or driving your car.  Beginner's Goodbye's characters are like people that we know, or even people that we are. It is an affecting book. Even if you already cherish your spouse, after you read this book, i would be surprised if you didn't show just a little more appreciation of him/her. If you don't get anything else out of this book, you will find a poignant reminder to cherish the precious ordinariness of everyday life, or to quote the protagonist Aaron, to be "happily, unremarkably maried." My favorite quote was this ironic and heart-rending one from Aaron: "That was one of the worst things about losing your wife, I found; your wife is the very person you want to discuss it all with." This book is a quick read, not only because it has fewer than 200 pages, but also because once you start reading it, you don't want to do anything else until you finish it. Don't miss out on this gem.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The beginning really hooked me, but i found the book rather flat and predictable
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