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Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Beautifully written and quite a short read. We were quite split when it came to the main character – we ranged from finding him annoying to just not feeling any sympathy for him. It’s not an action-packed story, more a gentle observation of loneliness and how difficult it is to break away from your roots, and as such is an easy read requiring more reflections than concentration.

Even those of us who didn’t rate it highly found it well-written and very readable. For a readable book, it did still generate some quite wide differences of opinion.

“Glad it finished at the point where it did. An okay read but would probably end up the charity shop bag. Didn’t have to concentrate too much. 

“Would read another by the same author. “

“I love the tempo and melody of her writing. I like the fact it meanders and isn’t formulaic. Its not contrived. She writes for an intelligent reader – she doesn’t spell things out or repeat ideas.”

“Nice to have something that’s not emotionally demanding. Spot on with some observations about relationships.”

“Dull. Nothing happened! Hasn’t inspired met or read anything else by the author. I didn’t feel anything was particularly developed or explored in any depth in the story. Very glad when it was over. Brink subplot bizarre and unbelievable. Not inclined to read any others.”

“Didn’t really elicit a strong response one way or the other. Thought I had perhaps only downloaded half the book!”

“Easy to put down. Didn’t feel a need to finish it. “

Overall score 5.8

Range 4.5 – 6

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