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  • Published: 5 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448122745
  • Imprint: RH AudioGo
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Length: 6 hr 22 min
  • RRP: $19.99

The Beginner's Goodbye

An Anne Tyler gem: a story about love, about marriage, about two ordinary people so intertwined they cannot be separated - even by death ...

When Dorothy came back from the dead, Aaron noticed that some people simply ignored the fact; some seemed to have forgotten she had died in the first place; and others just walked straight on by.

The accident that killed Dorothy -- involving an oak tree, a sun porch and some elusive biscuits -- leaves Aaron bereft and the house a wreck. As those around him fuss and flap and bring him casserole after casserole, Aaron ploughs on. He busies himself with work at the family firm, a publisher with a successful line in 'Beginner's Guides' to every stage and aspect of life. But then Dorothy starts to materialize in the oddest places. At first, she only comes for a short while, leaving Aaron longing for more. Gradually she stays for longer, and as they talk they also bicker ...

The cracks that start to reappear in their perfectly normal marriage are as well worn and familiar to Aaron as Dorothy herself. As Aaron starts to emerge from his grief, they are also a reassuringly poignant reminder that life may move on, but some things will forever remain the same.

  • Published: 5 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9781448122745
  • Imprint: RH AudioGo
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Length: 6 hr 22 min
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her bestselling novels include Breathing Lessons,The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Ladder of Years, Back When We Were Grownups, A Patchwork Planet, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America, A Spool of Blue Thread, Vinegar Girl and Clock Dance.

In 1989 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lessons; in 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English'; in 2012 she received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence; and in 2015 A Spool of Blue Thread was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize.

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Praise for The Beginner's Goodbye

Brims with wry perceptiveness and rueful humour

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (Books of the Year)

The most touching novel [I read this year]

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday (Books of the Year)

Bitter sweet... Either a ghost story or a sideways portrait of a marriage

James Kidd, Independent (Books of the Year)

The work of an artist at the peak of her powers... a brilliantly observed and mercifully unsentimental examination of the emotional arc of grief

Sarah Vine, The Times

Tyler strips away layers of everyday life to reveal the abyss of pain underneath but does so with such skill and sparkling wit it makes this a real celebration of life

Vanessa Berridge, Daily Express

This is what Tyler does better than almost any contemporary writer. She peers at the forgotten areas of the everyday, the bits that are hard to pinpoint, yet make up the bulk of our relationships. And this, ultimately, is why she is such a satisfying writer: she looks at people - at life - from the inside out

Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times

A simple, subtle and really honest account of how one man, Aaron, deals with the darkly comic death of his dumpy, clever and brilliant wife Dorothy... I finished it in one sitting

Alix Walker, Stylist

A perfectly judged and brilliantly executed novel of loss and recovery

Woman & Home

A near flawless novel of love and loss...this exquisitely poignant but unsentimental portrait of a loving but tragic mismatch

Rosemary Goring, Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

Yet again she has articulated the supreme difficulties of human communication in a calmly insightful exploration of love and truth, grief and reality

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Her stories are quite unlike anyone else's

Cressida Connolly, Daily Telegraph

Tyler writes with a generosity of spirit and an emotional truthfulness that makes you forget the bare mechanics of plot

David Robinson, Week

Tyler uses simple, elegant prose to manifest her particular brands of realism and humour

Freya McClelland, Independent

Tyler distilled


Her novels assert, with acuity, compassion and inventive humour, the uniqueness and value of each human life... a carefully observed study of grief and its trajectory

Pamela Norris, Literary Review

Deeply rewarding novel about grief and hope, infused with gentle humour

Sunday Times

Acutely, tenderly observed. Tyler is excellent on the ways we endlessly misread even those closest to us

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Richer and more alive than the best work almost any other writer is producing

Cressida Connolly, Daily Telegraph

Deeply rewarding

Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times

All Hail Anne Tyler

Sunday Times

She's a master storyteller and inventor of character

Vanessa Berridge, Daily Express

A funny, gently moving and insightful book

Liam Heylin, Irish Examiner

What could be mawkish and cloying is gentle and touching, not least because she is a very funny writer

Michael Prodger, Financial Times

In Tyler’s small slices of life there is poetry and wisdom

Elaine Showalter, Guardian

The ending teeters on the brink of sentimentality but such is her psychological insight, the truth of her writing, that if she says unlikely happy endings are possible, I believe her

Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express

This meticulous, gently humorous novel is concerned with the effects of grief, the stop-start nature of moving on and the role of friendships, however imperfect, in facing catastrophe. [Tyler] remains as gimlet-eyed as ever in portraying ordinary lives that have become unmoored


This novel's great achievement is to capture the tensions and subtleties of a married life cut short… I read [it] virtually in one sitting, but that's a fairly common experience with Anne Tyler books… I didn't want it to end. Which is also a fairly common Tyler thing

Viv Groskop, Independent on Sunday

The Beginner’s Goodbye is a very funny book…every incident is at once recognizably true to life and yet somehow utterly off-kilter

Edmund Gordon, Times Literary Supplement

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