Anne Tyler is a must-read for me. I had thought I had read that her previous novel was to be her last. I’m so happy that either that report was wrong, or that she changed her mind. At barely 200 pages, this one is a small offering, but like all her books, good things come in that small package.
Micah Mortimer has a small business, the Tech Hermit, and provides maintenance in exchange for his basement apartment’s rent. Around 40 years old, the Baltimore native has been less than lucky in love. First, his current girlfriend faces losing her apartment and then the son of a former girlfriend–one from way back in college, turns up on his doorstep. Michah’s well-ordered life of vacuuming his apartment on this day, mopping the floors in the kitchen and bathroom on the next day and so on is thrown for a loop.
First, I was amazed that a fundamentalist Christian character was not ridiculed and did not walk away from the faith. That the character had a troubled spot at some point was just fine with me. I loved the way Micah came to see his reality. Perfect Anne Tyler storytelling! Although I often complain about idiotic names, Anne Tyler is not an author I criticize for this. Her characters nearly always fit their name–only “Stem” (a nickname in another book) irritated me. She simply chooses the name most appropriate for her quirky characters. The same goes for her quirky titles–I love them because they fit the story. My only complaint with Redhead–and it is a mild one, is that it was too short.
I listened to the excellent audio version.
Redhead by the Side of the Road: A Novel by Anne Tyler