August 12

Redhead By The Side of The Road by Anne Tyler

Sometimes size does matter Readheads.

This gem of a book is only 178 pages but it packs a punch. Anne Tyler is the master of minutiae and writes about the most mundane, repetitive aspects of our lives and drizzles them in honey and sunshine.

Redhead By the Side of The Road doesn’t disappoint. It delivers classic Tyler precision and leaves with you that incredible ‘just finished a book’ jaunty walk because you’ll whizz through it. During lockdown, you’ll do it in half a day easy.

Micah Mortimer is driven by routine and balance. At precisely 7.15am each and every day he runs. He has vacuuming day as the highlight of his tightly scheduled cleaning regime and there is order to every single thing he does. People around him view him with kindness but also think he’s odd. He is. Endearingly so.

The tilt in the story comes when a teenage boy shows up at Micah’s door saying he is his son. Definitely outside the tidy life Micah has built for himself so of course, discombobulation abounds. There is unravelling, life becomes unpredictable and it gets messy, so Micah needs to adapt. But can he?

This is a lovely read. You will feel richer for it at the end. It is unassuming and beautifully told. Slender in page numbers but enormous in emotion.

But that is just my two cents worth.