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Morgan's Passing: 03/14/07

Morgan's Passing

I picked up a copy of Morgan's Passing on the mistaken impression that I had read another of Anne Tyler's books and enjoyed it. Having gone through my records I realize that I must have been mistaken. Nonetheless, I'm glad that I took a chance and read the book.

Morgan's Passing refers to Morgan's passing into old age and of his obituary that he reads in the paper, put there by his ex wife. The story covers the highlights of 12 years from 1967 to 1979. The events are book ended by birth and death: the births of Emily's daughter and son; and Morgan's reading of obituaries (first other's and then his own).

Morgan Gower is the sort of person who plays along with people's misconceptions. This quirk of his seems to be the driving force in his life; that and his fascination with Emily and her simple life. Morgan's life is one of chaos and clutter. His home is full of relatives (seven daughters, a sister and a mother and his wife) and clutter (because he's a packrat). Emily's life is just the opposite and he envies her. Through his envy he falls into a weird sort of love with her.

While I didn't find myself especially liking any of the characters, I enjoyed reading the book. It is bittersweet. No one really seems happy, yet everyone seems to be trying to find happiness.

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