Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler – Book Review

Liam Pennywell is sixty and has just lost his job as a teacher when the school downsized. He moves into a small apartment but, on the first night, wakes up in hospital with no memory of what has happened. Between his ex-wife, his three daughters, their various children and partners and others, he is trying to figure out his place in his new world.
This is a strange read. It feels like kind of nothing, but that’s perhaps because Liam feels that he is kind of nothing. It feels real – like an existential crisis which is not so much a crisis as a way of being. The characters feel very real, and their interactions are as unpleasant and uncomfortable as they are familiar and everyday. It’s not the type of book that I expect will stay with me, yet I imagine that Liam will pop into my head so often.


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