Tyler, Anne "A Patchwork Planet" - 1998
The story of a man who is socially regarded as a "loser", his failure, the disappointment of his family. Same as "The Accidental Tourist", I read this ages ago but the book didn't leave a huge impression. Nicely told but I couldn't warm to the characters.
From the back cover:
"Barnaby Gaitlin is a loser - just short of thirty he's the black sheep of a philanthropic Baltimore family. Once upon a time he had a home, a loving wife, a little family of his own; now he has an ex-wife, a 9-year-old daughter with attitude, a Corvette Sting Ray that's a collectors item but unreliable, and he works as hired muscle for Rent-a-Back, doing heavy chores for old folks. He has an almost pathological curiosity about other people's lives, which has got him into serious trouble in the past, and a hopeles charm which attracts the kind of angelic woman who wants to save him from himself. Tyler's observation is more acute and more delicious than ever; her humour slyer and more irresistible; her characters so vividly realised that you feel you've known this quirky collection for ever. With perfect pitch and poise, humor and humanity, Anne Tyler chronicals, better than any writer today, the sublime and the rediculous of everyday living, the foibles and frailties of the ordinary human heart."
Not at all like "Digging to America" which I enjoyed very much.
Read my other reviews about Anne Tyler's novels here.