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Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

This was the book club choice for June, and I happened to be delivering something to someone in the book club and she had finished the book, so lent her copy to me. I got to it quite quickly, reading it at the beginning of June. It's a novella, around 180 pages, so it didn't take me very long to read at all. 

So, Micah Mortimer lives in Baltimore, in the basement flat of the apartment block he is superintendent for. He earns a little money this way, but he is also known as Tech Hermit, and is on call to anyone to go and help with their computers. He keeps his flat very neat - he has a rota system for cleaning and hates to leave things untidy. He read as a little autistic to me, but I'm not sure if that is intentional or not. He is in his forties. 

He has a girlfriend called Cass, who is in her late thirties and is an elementary school teacher. They see each other fairly often, but don't speak of moving in together or anything like that. At the beginning of the book, she is worried that she might lose her apartment and then she's cross at how Micah reacted to this news. 

A teenager turns up at Micah's apartment; he is the son of Micah's college girlfriend Lorna. His name is Brink and he's led a privileged life. He thinks that Micah is his biological father, but this can't be right because Micah and Lorna never had sex. I thought this would be the main part of the book, but it really isn't.

It's an odd little book and yet I liked it. I liked Micah's character growth in so few pages. I liked his family and Cass and how he did care for them, in his own way. I'm sure I have read Anne Tyler before and I definitely would again - she's very good at drawing characters quickly. I'm giving this four out of five. 

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