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Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler

Ladder of Years
By Anne Tyler
Completed July 12, 2007

Ladder of Years is a tale about Delia who suddenly leaves her family while vacationing at the beach. Tired of her unappreciative children, belittling husband and demanding sisters - plus still mourning the loss of her father - Delia impulsively leaves them on their beach blankets and takes off for a small town. There, she gets her first job, her first place and her first business clothes.

Then, she learns that working for others is difficult and takes a job as a nanny for a young boy and his divorced father. In effect, she trades one family for another. I won't spoil the ending for you, but I will propose that Delia had the potential to really grow in her journey - but she didn't. She missed her opportunity to become the woman she wanted to be.

I usually enjoy Anne Tyler's books because she develops her characters so beautifully. This is not the case in Ladder of Years. Overall, I was very disappointed with the story and character development. I felt no sense of attachment, usually losing my patience with Delia's simplemindedness. This is definitely not one of Tyler's best works. ( )


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 14th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hate it when that happens. Don't you feel like you wasted your time on this one and could have been reading something better? Ugh!
Jul. 14th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
That's exactly how I feel! And I was especially disappointed because I like Anne Tyler's stuff.
Jul. 16th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this review I have been debating whether or not to read this.
Mar. 30th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
Reread this book again when you are Delia's age.....
I had the same reaction when I read this book in 1995 soon after it came out. I had a 3 year old and felt like a young mother although in reality, I was older than Delia was in the book. Now, age 56 with a 15 year old boy, I reread this book with new eyes, cried, laughed and related totally to all of it. I think now it may just be the most brilliant book she's penned. Reread this book again when you are closer to Delia's age and see if it changes for you too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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