Morgan's Passing by Anne Tyler

By Anne Tyler

"An nearly perfect tale of love...Morgan emerges as a real hero."

Morgan Gower works at Cullen's ironmongery shop in north Baltimore. He has seven daughters and a warmhearted spouse, yet as he trips into the grey region of heart age, he unearths his loved ones transforming into tedious.

Then Morgan meets gorgeous younger newlyweds below a few particularly severe circumstances—and all 3 become aware of that no one's center is safe....

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He realizes that he has, at the same time, not been able to grasp the full meaning of his experience. " In Larder's earlier poem "Symphony," the manner in which the horn, speaking for the chivalrous knight, undertakes to do battle with "cheapening" trade is one of bravado; the tone is that of a reckless boy who has heard tales of the glories of war but knows none of its realities. In "The Marshes ofGlynn" the voice speaking is consistently that of a man who knows the world as it is, admits his doubts, and seeks the marshland not as escape but from a religious need to know a new level of experience.

Kennedy's preface to an 1851 edition of the novel contains remarks similar to dozens of Page's commentaries about the superiorities of plantation life. "Swallow Barn? Kennedy intoned, "exhibits a picture of country life as it existed in the first quarter of the present century. 6 This concept of an Old South that is a vanished society pertains to many works written well before the Civil War. Yet Page differs in that he watched, at a most impressionable age, the actual demise of that sunny civilization and found, as he began writing in the aftermath of its destruction, an opportunity not just to commemorate or to express a sense of loss but to measure, to rebuke, and actually to have some effect on the shape of the present.

His major characters almost never become real for us because Lanier is much more interested in using them to voice his vague transcendental theories than in developing them as individuals with personalities of their own. The one exception is his portrait of the Smallin brothers, Gorm and Cain, mountain rustics whose appearance marks an exquisite touch of realism for the novel. The story of Cain's reaction to his brother's desertion from the army becomes a separate piece both in style and in the dramatic intensity that Lanier achieves with it.

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