Ladder of Years

Anne Tyler, Author Alfred A Knopf Inc $24 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-44155-7
At 40, Delia Grinstead seems more likely to have an attack of anxiety, or of whimsy, than to become a runaway wife. Yet, in Tyler's 13th beguiling novel, Delia's impulse to escape her disapproving physician husband and three surly children turns into an adventure that sweeps her from her staid Baltimore orbit into a new existence as Ms. Grinstead, spinster, in the Delaware community of Bay Borough. It's the unexamined life that's Delia's problem, and when she finally strips away layers of hurt, resentment, guilt and anger, she confronts her inner self and begins to deal with the chronic insecurity that has kept her childlike, flighty and dependent. Gradually, she becomes part of her new community, and has the courage to take a job caring for Noah Miller, an appealing 12-year-old whose mother has also run away from home and family. Over the course of a year, Delia discards her timorous personality and gains an understanding of the person she wants to be. One of the satisfactions of this novel is Tyler's evocation of typical family life. While in the past some of her characters have been too eccentric or fey, Delia and her family and friends all have both feet planted in the real world, even if their heads and hearts are sometimes elsewhere. Some readers may have difficulty accepting Delia's ability to absent herself from her children, but Tyler engages our sympathy and growing respect for a character who finally realizes that ``the ladder of years'' is a time trip to the future. BOMC main selection; major ad/promo; Random House Audio Book. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Show other formats
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-449-91057-3
Hardcover - 978-0-676-50229-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-679-44110-6
Paperback - 562 pages - 978-0-679-76225-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 406 pages - 978-0-8041-1347-2
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17278-0
Hardcover - 978-0-679-43941-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-1492-9
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1417-9
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-09-947941-3
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4070-1605-4
Ebook - 280 pages - 978-0-307-43434-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-00389-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.