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.

French Braid: A novel by Anne Tyler
Loading...

French Braid: A novel (original 2022; edition 2022)

by Anne Tyler (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5764435,793 (3.89)43
"The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever venture beyond Baltimore, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family's orbit, for reasons none of them understands. Yet as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influence on one another ripples unmistakably through each generation, much like French-braided hair keeps its waves even after it is undone. Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close--yet how unknowable--every family is to itself"--… (more)
Member:EastTriC
Title:French Braid: A novel
Authors:Anne Tyler (Author)
Info:Knopf (2022), 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

French Braid by Anne Tyler (2022)

Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 43 mentions

English (40)  Dutch (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Mulit-generational family saga set mostly in Baltimore about a middle-class suburban family. The timeline covers four generations across sixty-one years, 1959 through 2020. The central characters are members of the Garrett family – parents, Robin and Mercy, and three children, Alice, Lily, and David. Robin is a plumber who loves his wife but has difficulty showing his feelings. Mercy wants to focus on her painting and become more independent. Alice is the oldest and most responsible. Lily is rebellious. David eventually escapes and no one knows why.

The author covers a lot of ground in a rather short book. The characters are easy to picture. The family squabbles feel realistic. It is well-written and flows well. The story is told in short vignettes, such as a family outing to a lake, an uncomfortable family dinner meeting David’s future wife, a fiftieth anniversary party, and a grandmother-granddaughter day trip to New York.

We eventually find out the reason David has distanced himself from the rest of the family. My favorite part is the ending where David and his wife have a chance to reconnect with their son and grandson. It is a quiet story with little action. There is nothing earth-shaking here, but I found it a very pleasant reading experience.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
A family history that follows the arc of two and a half generations in Baltimore. Although they don’t seem to like each other, they are still bound together.
  mojomomma | Oct 4, 2022 |
I bought this book after reading a review of it in The Week magazine. It is another family story by Anne Tyler, an excellent writer whose books I've often enjoyed, and when I read that it covers the years 1959 to 2020 of a Baltimore family, I was sold - those are my years - not surprisingly Anne Tyler is also 80 years old, so I think that accounts for my feeling she has been a novelist/diarist of our times in her family sagas. French Braid did not disappoint - in fact, I think it may be my favorite of the Anne Tyler novels I've read. It is, of course, a family saga over three generations, a simple, rather spare accounting of major themes shown through selected turning points, much like a family photo album tells its story. Very believable and relatable, and to me, highly interesting, just the somewhat detached but loving ties between the members of a family. Mercy, the mother, an artist who kind of retired from the family while still being part of it; Greta, the older, German daughter-in-law, so practical and so wise, so insightful; David who always suspected his father Robin didn't really like him, though he knows he loved him. The story of Mercy's trip to NYC with one of her granddaughters, who may also turn out to be artist, I found especially touching and interesting. What being a grandparent means - the joy of grandchildren and the hope of the future embodied. A delightful and rather moving book about the ties, designs, differences between family members.. I think one reason this one may be my favorite is that it doesn't have a really weirdo family member like the other Tyler novels I have read - I always found those off-putting. These are just ordinarily quirky people and seem very real. I enjoyed the book so much I didn't want it to end so soon. ( )
  MarthaHuntley | Sep 6, 2022 |
Anne Tyler has a keen eye for the intricacies of relationships, especially in families. French Braid portrays the Garrett family over multiple generations, with all its misunderstandings, deception, and general dysfunction. The book opens in 2010, with a young woman and her boyfriend returning to Baltimore after visiting his family in Philadelphia. Just when you think this couple will be the center of the story, the narrative shifts back to 1959 when the Garrett family took “their first and last family vacation.” We meet parents Mercy and Robin and their children Alice, Lily, and David. The two girls are in their mid-to-late teens; David is only seven. Theirs is a fairly typical family vacation with its inherent ups and downs, but these events set the stage for behavior patterns that will persist into the next generations.

Each chapter skips forward several years. Alice, Lily, and David grow to adulthood, each redefining their relationship with their parents in unique ways. Mercy and Robin adjust to their empty nest in a surprising way, which was both amusing and satisfying. As time moves on we learn how the woman in the opening chapter relates to everyone else (a bit of a letdown, actually, and not fully explored), but we also get to know David, who has been somewhat of an enigma throughout the novel. Past events suddenly make more sense, and bring closure to the family’s history and this wonderful novel. ( )
  lauralkeet | Aug 11, 2022 |
I finished French Braid by Anne Tyler this morning, My favorilovete book this year!

At first it seemed like there were too many characters but then I started to love the ones that I am most like. The last CD disc had me in tears and wishing there more. Anne Tyler captured the feeling of gried and sorrow of Co-vid 19!

The one character, Mercy, married Robin and loved him but had to get away to gain solitude and self love, something that Robin would never understand. It is funny, I really identified with her gradually building her nest in her artist studio. I like doing things in baby steps too. Then there was her love for her granddaughter and wonderfully long scene on the train back from New York with her granddaughter. Mercy gave to her family until they all were married and the house was empty. When I think of Mercy, I think of self-care and how she found a way to do it.

The oher character was her son, David. I loved him, he was like my youngest brother and a lot like myself. The brother of the large family who must have been on the autism spectrum had married a woman could not been better for him (Greta).

They were both feeling lost and lonely during Co-vid. David, the brother got a call from his son about visiting them with his toddler son, Benny. Wonderful visit and they had to part. David starting to have Mild Dementia like his mother and thank goodness that Greta is there with him to end of the story.

I really loved this book with all my heart. I listened to it on audio. ( )
  Carolee888 | Aug 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
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
This happened back in 2010, when the Philadelphia train station still had the kind of information board that clickity-clacked as the various gate assignments rolled up.
Quotations
“Sometimes people live first one life and then another life,” her grandmother said. “First a family life and then later a whole other kind of life. That’s what I’m doing.”
“Oh, a French braid, Greta said.
“That’s it. And then when she undid them, her hair would still be in ripples, little leftover squiggles, for hours and hours afterward.”
“Yes . . . “
“Well, David said,”that’s how families work, too. You think you’re free of them, but you’re never really free; the ripples are crimped in forever.”
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

None

"The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever venture beyond Baltimore, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family's orbit, for reasons none of them understands. Yet as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts' influence on one another ripples unmistakably through each generation, much like French-braided hair keeps its waves even after it is undone. Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close--yet how unknowable--every family is to itself"--

No library descriptions found.

Book description
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning author—a funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one Baltimore family’s foibles, from a boyfriend with a red Chevy in the 1950s up to a longed-for reunion with a grandchild in our pandemic present.

The Garretts take their first and last family vacation in the summer of 1959. They hardly ever leave home, but in some ways they have never been farther apart. Mercy has trouble resisting the siren call of her aspirations to be a painter, which means less time keeping house for her husband, Robin. Their teenage daughters, steady Alice and boy-crazy Lily, could not have less in common. Their youngest, David, is already intent on escaping his family’s orbit, for reasons none of them understand. Yet, as these lives advance across decades, the Garretts’ influences on one another ripple ineffably but unmistakably through each generation.

Full of heartbreak and hilarity, French Braid is classic Anne Tyler: a stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close—yet how unknowable—every family is to itself.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 5
2.5 4
3 25
3.5 22
4 61
4.5 23
5 28

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,267,887 books! | Top bar: Always visible