HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982)

by Anne Tyler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,465773,188 (3.84)345
Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not of her memory. It was a Sunday night in 1944 when her husband left the little row house on Baltimore's Calvert Street, abandoning Pearl to raise their three children alone: Jenny, high-spirited and determined, nurturing to strangers but distant to those she loves; the older son, Cody, a wild and incorrigible youth possessed by the lure of power and money; and sweet, clumsy Ezra, Pearl's favorite, who never stops yearning for the perfect family that could never be his own. Now Pearl and her three grown children have gathered together again--with anger, hope, and a beautiful, harsh, and dazzling story to tell.… (more)
Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 345 mentions

English (72)  Catalan (3)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Pearl Tull is looking back on her life with her three (now adult) children. Her husband walked out on the family when the children were young, and she found herself ill-equipped to cope. She carried on as if nothing had happened, not even telling the children that their father was gone. The narrative follows the lives of the three siblings – Cody, Ezra, and Jenny. It is a tale of a dysfunctional family that portrays how siblings remember the same events differently.

Set in Maryland mostly in the 1940s to 1980s, this is a story of life and a family, the passage of time, and the importance of communication. The author explores the ramifications of abandonment, with the three siblings trying to deal with it the best they can. Cody is aggressive, rebellious, and jealous of his brother. Ezra is the peacemaker who tries to heal the conflicts through food. Jenny engages in a series of failed relationships, eventually finding one where she feels needed.

The characters are deftly drawn, complete with strengths and flaws. The point of view switches among the siblings to provide the reader with a psychological portrait of each. This method allows the reader to gain a fuller understanding of the situation by viewing it from multiple perspectives. It is a quiet, reflective book. The main highlight for me is that by the end I felt I knew these people. I have read other books by Anne Tyler and this one is my favorite by far.

“Everything,' his father said, 'comes down to time in the end--to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't sadness wishing time back again?”

4.5
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
This is one Anne Tyler book that has been out for a while that I never read. I have read a few that I loved and a few I didn't and this goes into the category of in between. Another dysfunctional family book but not as dysfunctional as many as other books I've read in the past.

The characters were all over the place with their lives and Ezra the middle child was his mother's favorite who still lived at home, single (engaged at one point) and taking care of his mother. Cody was the eldest and ended up marrying a cook at Ezra's restaurant (hence the title). I don't want to spoil it who he married though but Cody was a slick one.

Jenny, the youngest, and only daughter, was thrice married and a pediatrician and seemed to be happy finally. There's one line that stood out in the book, that she should have been one taking care of her mother, since she was the only daughter. ( )
  sweetbabyjane58 | Aug 4, 2022 |
The novel opens with Pearl Tull on her deathbed, attended by her son, Ezra. She fades in and out, lost in memories of years gone by. Born in the early 20th century, Pearl married and had three children. Her husband Beck earned his living as a salesman; frequent transfers required the young family to relocate on short notice. Pearl’s life was focused on her children and she had no social connections to speak of. When Beck up and left them all, she had no one to fall back on. But she managed.

Or so it seemed. In fact, Pearl’s end-of-life reverie was highly unreliable. While Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant initially appears to be the story of a quirky family, its dark side soon becomes apparent. Eldest son Cody is charming on the outside but inside is calculating and cruel, especially towards his brother Ezra. Jenny, the youngest, becomes a doctor but her personal life is a mess. And Ezra, the peace-keeping middle child, remains in Baltimore with his mother while working at the restaurant he eventually comes to own. Ezra repeatedly attempts to bring the family together by hosting elaborate dinners at the restaurant, which suffer under the weight of his perfectionism, shared family trauma, and the dysfunctional behaviors of every other family member.

The lives of each sibling unfold in alternating chapters, each a brilliant character study that also moves the plot along. I despised Cody and found Ezra and Jenny likeable, if flawed. The novel ends with Pearl’s funeral, where one particular loose end is resolved but much of the family’s future remains uncertain. I was actually glad Tyler didn’t fall back on a neat and tidy ending. There was no way this family was going to reverse the damage done to them, but they can move forward step by step, day by day. ( )
  lauralkeet | May 23, 2022 |
This is a review.
  Neilatkallaroo | Apr 7, 2022 |
In my opinion, just as the Beginner's Goodbye is Tyler's worst, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is her best!!

Pearl Tull married late in life. When her husband leaves her to raise their three children alone, she denies his abandonment. To Cody, Jenny and Ezra, their father left; they wait for him to return, and he never does.

It would be easy to say Pearl did the best she could, but, each of her children would deny that platitude. Pearl receives a minimum amount in a check each month. She finds a job at a local grocery store as a check out clerk. Moving through life troubled, sad and angry, she takes her emotions out on every child.

Tyler is best at character study and she does an excellent job at profiling each child and Pearl. Cody becomes a successful business man, his sister Jenny becomes a peditrician, and Ezra inherits a restaurant and changes the menu and name to The Homesick Restaurant.

Ezra goes through life as the magical child who does not try, but seems to have a successful aura around him. Cody, always jealous of Ezra, steals and marries Ezra's one and only love. Jenny experiences a string of failed marriages, then finds and marries a man with a large amount of children. They are added to her little girl whose husband left Jenny when her child was a baby.

When adults, though they make many attempts to get together as adults, someone always storms away from the dinner table, angry and frustrated. Each adult carries memories of a mother who screams, hits, and flies off at the least little thing.

The book begins with Pearl's last days with son Ezra by her side as she relives memories of days gone by. ( )
  Whisper1 | Feb 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Every other year or so since 1964, loyal readers pick up their new Anne Tyler novel as they would buy a favored brand of sensible shoe. Each of her nine books is solidly constructed from authentic and durable materials. Yet traditional style and comfort do not necessarily mean dullness. Tyler's characters have character: quirks, odd angles of vision, colorful mean streaks and harmonic longings. They usually live in ordinary settings, like Baltimore, the author's current home, and do not seem to have been overly influenced by the 7 o'clock news. An issue in a Tyler novel is likely to mean a new child; a cause, the reason behind a malfunction in an appliance or a marriage.
added by Shortride | editTime, R. Z. Sheppard (pay site) (Apr 5, 1982)
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Tylerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leigh-Loohuizen, RiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toren, SuzanneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
While Pearl Tull was dying, a funny thought occurred to her.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not of her memory. It was a Sunday night in 1944 when her husband left the little row house on Baltimore's Calvert Street, abandoning Pearl to raise their three children alone: Jenny, high-spirited and determined, nurturing to strangers but distant to those she loves; the older son, Cody, a wild and incorrigible youth possessed by the lure of power and money; and sweet, clumsy Ezra, Pearl's favorite, who never stops yearning for the perfect family that could never be his own. Now Pearl and her three grown children have gathered together again--with anger, hope, and a beautiful, harsh, and dazzling story to tell.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.84)
0.5
1 7
1.5 5
2 44
2.5 9
3 194
3.5 60
4 314
4.5 45
5 197

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,266,202 books! | Top bar: Always visible