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Publisher's Summary

Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not of her memory. It was a Sunday night in 1944 when her husband left the little row house on Baltimore’s Calvert Street, abandoning Pearl to raise their three children alone: Jenny, high-spirited and determined, nurturing to strangers but distant to those she loves; the older son, Cody, a wild and incorrigible youth possessed by the lure of power and money; and sweet, clumsy Ezra, Pearl’s favorite, who never stops yearning for the perfect family that could never be his own.

©2004 AnneTyler Modarressi (P)2010 Audible, Inc

Critic Reviews

“Beautiful.... funny, heart-hammering, wise.... Superb entertainment.” (The New York Times)
“A book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read.” (The Boston Globe)
“In her ninth novel she has arrived at a new level of power.” (John Updike, The New Yorker)
"Few families are as disconnected as the Tulls, and Toren successfully projects the characters' complex and layered feelings of competition, longing, pain, and insecurity, leaving listeners to judge the actions taken or words said. Thanks to Toren's sensitive reading, listeners are not pulled under by the difficult themes explored in the novel. Instead, the Tulls' abusive and clueless behavior opens the door for discussion." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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    66
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    61
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    49
  • 2 Stars
    23
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    15

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    73
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    11

Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    46
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    36
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    16
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Babette
  • Loveland, CO, United States
  • 06-13-11

Listen to it More Than Once

The first time I listened to this book, I really didn't like it. I thought the story was weak but the characters were interesting. The second time I listened, I discovered that the characters are the story and I actually found the book quite enjoyable. Anne Tyler is a great storyteller. I enjoy her folksy and flawed characters. I do wish there would have been more of a "story" but its still a good book that I'll keep in my permanent collection.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dell
  • FRUITLAND PARK, FL, United States
  • 08-08-13

Great story about life in general.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

A very interesting story about a young mother who was left by her husband to raise a daughter and two sons in a time when separation was not the norm.

What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

The narrator was fantastic!

Was Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant worth the listening time?

Yes. It has a great storyline and makes one think.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Depressing

If you want to feel better about your family disfunctions, dive in. I found it tedious after a while. Sorry

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Anne Tyler's best

Where does Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

First

What did you like best about this story?

Anne Tyler is my favorite author. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is my favorite Anne Tyler novel.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great characterization

wonderfully descriptive, nicely drawn characters but the story left me wondering why I spent so much time listening to the end.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The worst naration I've experienced on Audible

What didn’t you like about Suzanne Toren’s performance?

I found that Ms. Toren's vocalization of all of the men made them sound like sniveling idiots and most of her vocalization of the the characters in general (when the men didn't sound like idiots) sounded like they had some mental retardation. I listened to this book as a part of a book club and was shocked to hear that this was actually a really beautifully written book. The narration ruined it for me completely and I wish I had read it, instead of listening to this horrible reading.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not sure if it's the narration or the writer, but.

...but seriously? The way the voices are read, the characters seem so dim-witted, and well, stupid. I normally enjoy 'depressing' stories of flawed families, but I am finding myself frustrated with this one. This is my 1st Anne Tyler book. I agree with other reviewers that it is difficult to like anyone. I wonder if I was reading it in print if I would enjoy it more, but the slow, confused way some of the characters talk.... argh! I had to force myself to finish it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I can't find anyone to like

Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are comfortable, quirky, and people I want to know. I wish she had saved a few for Dinner at the Homesick Resturant. Try as I might, I couldn't build a bond or sympathize with any of the characters. If they were not slow or dim-witted, they were mean and disagreeable. I finished it just in case it changed but ended up disappointed with an unsurprising somewhat maudlin wrap up. I will read her again but can't get excited about Homesick.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

thoroughly enjoyable

Loved this book. Loved the characters and story line. Easy to follow and believable.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not her best

struggled to finish. thought it would get better but it never really did. other books of hers are better.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful