HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Ladder Of Years by Anne Tyler
Loading...

Ladder Of Years (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Anne Tyler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,345422,682 (3.71)1 / 118
Member:Sharkell
Title:Ladder Of Years
Authors:Anne Tyler
Info:Knopf (1995), Edition: 1st Trade Ed, Hardcover, 325 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:****
Tags:America

Work details

Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler (1995)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Loved the idea and the frailty of characters, but was very much disappointed by the end. Although it does seem logical, really. I just hoped for a little more courage, I suppose.
Quote: Delia wondered how humans could bear to live in a world where the passage of time held so much power. ( )
  flydodofly | Aug 22, 2015 |
This is a book I reread often. The premise is simple: Delia Grinstead, a vaguely unhappy forty-year-old homemaker, runs away from home without any conscious intention of doing so. The tone is humorous, even upbeat, but it's impossible to lose sight of the fact that she abandons her family. Every step of her journey is an accident, a stumble; but she allows each step to carry her away. Is she forgivable? After at least a dozen readings, I still can't answer that.

I do know that the writing here is brilliant. Little phrases catch at me. A cardigan "clung gently to her arms and made her feel like a cherished child." Delia scoops up a cat "beneath his hot little downy armpits." Rock music is performed by "singers who might as well be gossiping amongst themselves except every now and then you manage to overhear a stray word or two."

And this passage, maybe my favorite from the whole book: "She was learning the value of boredom. She was clearing out her mind. She had always known that her body was just a shell she lived in, but it occurred to her now that her mind was yet another shell -- in which case, who was 'she'? She was clearing out her mind to see what was left. Maybe there would be nothing."

I have very mixed feelings about Delia's final choice at the end of the book. I even have mixed feelings about the fact that I have mixed feelings, because how could the story end any other way? Only one thing is clear: people who haven't read this book yet, should. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
I have attempted to read this book a few times and have each time, found the beginning slow. I have recently decided that I will either read the books on my bookshelf or let them go and gave this one, another shot. The story was sufficient, the writing ok - I did actually finish it. My major complaint was the ending. It was a disappointing withdraw from the growth of the main character. ( )
  GingerSegreti | Jul 12, 2015 |
This is a book about a 40 year old woman. I will turn 40 by and by, and am therefore doing my literary research. But shit, I don't get this woman at all. While the reasons for her leaving are spelt out, I still don't feel they were adequate. Perhaps the character of her husband wasn't drawn strongly enough, but he didn't seem to deserve the abandonment. Leaving your kids, even if they are teenagers, is something I couldn't identify with at all.

Still, if our MC had simply got a part-time job and requested that they go somewhere else for their annual holiday for a change all might have been good, but that wouldn't have made for a very good novel. So I'll forgive the unlikely premise. Especially since Anne Tyler's characterisation is so strong that she can almost write anything and manages to make it quite likely indeed.

The main point of interest in this story is the analogy to Delia and a household cat: Like a cat, she abandons her young as soon as they're 'weaned' and like a typical cat, she abandons one family on a whim and settles down quickly with another. Like a cat, she listens to people's problems without interjecting with her own. This was interesting.

The problem is that the characters in this were so damn unlikeable, which is fine, I suppose, except in the end I stopped trying so hard to keep everyone's names straight and genuinely didn't care whether Delia went back to her husband or not. I got sick of hearing about her ankle, that's for sure. I would read another from this author, mainly because I thought Digging To America (a later work) was much better. ( )
  LynleyS | Sep 21, 2014 |
I never know how an Anne Tyler novel is going to end. She has a way of trailing infinite possibilities behind her advancing prose. This is part of what keeps me reading her books. Usually I'm content enough when I arrive at her final destination. However, the ending to this one infuriated me, causing acute pain and a sense of betrayal. The pain and betrayal came from having liked the book a lot up until then, and from my sympathy toward the main character. Sometimes as a reader one sees things quite differently from how the writer sees those same things. Unfortunately, sometimes this difference isn't fully revealed until the very end of a book. But I don't want to think about it for the length of time required to write any more details, nor do I want to hide the review because of spoilers.

In the case of this rating, ending trumps all: 2 stars for the ending, 4 stars for the rest of the book. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Tylerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cieplińska, HalinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Etsuko, NakanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flothuis, MeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frick-Gerke, ChristineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallén, KerstinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrman, BjørnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Medeiros, JacquelineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pignatti, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porte, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rifbjerg, IngeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soler, Carlos MillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yanḳovits, ShoshanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Delaware State Police announced early today that Cordelia F. Grinstead, wife of a Roland Park physician, has been reported missing while on holiday with her family in Bethany Beach.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
BALTIMORE WOMAN DISAPPEARS DURING FAMILY VACATION, declares the headline. Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead is last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To her husband and three almost-grown children, she has vanished without trace or reason. But for Delia, who feels like a tiny gnat buzzing around her family's edges, "walking away from it all" is not a premeditated act but an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life. . . .
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804113475, Mass Market Paperback)

"UTTERLY COMPELLING . . . WONDERFULLY SATISFYING . . . VIRTUALLY FLAWLESS."
--Chicago Tribune

BALTIMORE WOMAN DISAPPEARS DURING FAMILY VACATION, declares the headline. Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead is last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To her husband and three almost-grown children, she has vanished without trace or reason. But for Delia, who feels like a tiny gnat buzzing around her family's edges, "walking away from it all" is not a premeditated act but an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life. . . .

"TYLER DETAILS DELIA'S ADVENTURE WITH GREAT SKILL. . . . As so often in her earlier fiction, [she] creates distinct characters caught in poignantly funny situations. . . . Tyler writes with a clarity that makes the commonplace seem fresh and the pathetic touching."
--The New York Times

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:59 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A runaway wife leaves one domestic situation, only to fall into another. She is Delia Grinstead, 40, of Baltimore, the wife of a physician and mother of three. One day she decides she's had enough of being invisible, moves to another town and gets herself a job--caring for a boy whose mother has abandoned the family. By the author of Saint Maybe.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
407 avail.
13 wanted
3 pay3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.71)
0.5 1
1 7
1.5 2
2 28
2.5 12
3 130
3.5 55
4 199
4.5 18
5 92

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,157,592 books! | Top bar: Always visible