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Review: Noah’s Compass

March 9, 2010
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When Liam Pennywell is laid off from his teaching position, he moves to a smaller, cheaper apartment.  During his first night there, someone breaks in and attacks him.  Liam doesn’t remember anything from that night  – all he can remember is waking up the next day in the hospital with a bandaged head and hand.  The attack doesn’t bother Liam so much, but he is disturbed that he has no memory of it.

Liam searches for someone to help him recover his memories and thinks he’s found just that person in Eunice.  Even though Eunice isn’t who she seems to be at first, she brings some changes into his life.

I listened to Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler when I went to my parents’ house last week.  It’s narrated by Arthur Morey and he does a great job.  The book is on 8 CDs and runs about 9 hours.

I’m a fan of Tyler’s work and she didn’t disappoint me with this one.  I liked Liam – he’s a kind and gentle character – but I also found him irritating at times.  I kept telling him to get a little backbone and stand up for himself.  Liam had three daughters and I thought the family dynamics were great in this book.  Liam was oblivious to all that was going on at times, but his heart was in the right place.

Noah’s Compass is a quiet, introspective, character driven novel and I really enjoyed it.  I was captivated from the beginning and wanted to know what direction Liam’s life would take.  I was also curious about the title, and its meaning is revealed in the book, but I won’t give it away here.  Fans of Anne Tyler won’t want to miss this one.

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 5:32 am

    I love Anne Tyler too. She writes wonderful books. Thanks for the review. I loved Digging to America. I haven’t read any of her books lately. I have my eye on Noah’s Compass.

  2. March 9, 2010 6:04 am

    Like Tea, I haven’t read anything from AT since Digging to America (I liked it). I think I might enjoy listening to this book. Nice review.

  3. March 9, 2010 6:24 am

    another author that I have not read in a long, long time.

  4. March 9, 2010 7:00 am

    I am so glad to hear you liked this one. Some of the newspaper critics were lukewarm about it but I disagree with them often enough and was hoping I’d like it anyway. Sounds like it will be good.

  5. March 9, 2010 7:27 am

    Thanks for this review..putting the book on my TBR list.
    CMash

  6. March 9, 2010 7:35 am

    I have never read anything by Anne Tyler! This sounds good though. I too am curious about the title!

  7. March 9, 2010 7:53 am

    I haven’t ever heard of Anne Taylor, but shall look out for her.

    I get the feeling you do an awful lot of driving, with the amount of audio books you listen to.

  8. March 9, 2010 8:18 am

    So happy you enjoyed this one Kathy; i thought it was terrific as well.

  9. March 9, 2010 8:28 am

    I need to read this one. Sounds like it would be interesting for a discussion book. I really like Anne Tyler.

  10. March 9, 2010 8:55 am

    Hi Bermudaonion,

    For some reason, my contact list is not doing right. I tried to write you an email. I’m disconnected from The Striped Armchair. I really loved her posts and comments. I can’t seem to find a way to resubscribe. Help!

  11. March 9, 2010 9:27 am

    Great review, Kathy! This ones sounds good. Keep doing this, and my wish list is going to be very, very long. 😀

  12. March 9, 2010 9:54 am

    The only Anne Tyler book I’ve read is The Amateur Marriage, and I really liked it. I’ve been wanting to read more of her work, so I’ll keep this one in mind.

    –Anna

  13. March 9, 2010 10:53 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever read Anne Tyler. Noah’s Compass sounds like a good book, perhaps a book club pick. The title is intriguing. Thanks for the great review!

  14. March 9, 2010 11:20 am

    I like Anne Tyler also, although I don’t think I’ve read every one of her books — she has written so many. I’m sure I’ll be reading this one eventually.

    Your description of Liam sounds like some of her male characters in other books of hers!

  15. stacybuckeye permalink
    March 9, 2010 11:44 am

    I like Anne Tyler too. Her whole backlist is on my tbr list 🙂 This one sounds like another winner.

  16. March 9, 2010 1:17 pm

    Yes, like Valerie points out, so many of her male characters need a backbone, starting with the guy in Celestial Navigation, and proceeding most vividly, at least in my mind, to Ezra in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Macon in The Accidental Tourist.

    It’s so frustrating! But also, somehow, so true to life. You can’t make people do what would be good for them.

  17. March 9, 2010 1:32 pm

    So9unds interesting, but I don’t understand why the attack doesn’t bother him. It would me.

  18. March 9, 2010 1:42 pm

    I don’t recall reading Anne Tyler so she is going to go on my Authors-To-Be-Read list. My curiosity is peaked by your review so I’m so check this one out first.

  19. March 9, 2010 1:57 pm

    Would you believe I have not read or listened to any of Tyler’s work yet?! Sounds like a book and author I should consider…thanks for the review.

  20. March 9, 2010 2:00 pm

    Thanks for this great review, Kathy. I favor character driven novels and I haven’t read Anne Tyler in years and years. Glad you enjoyed the audio version!

  21. March 9, 2010 2:14 pm

    This sounds like something I’d enjoy listening to. I haven’t read or heard anything by Tyler, and I’d like to. Thanks for your review, Kathy. 🙂

  22. March 9, 2010 2:28 pm

    I hadnt heard of this before, and it does sound good. great review 🙂

  23. March 9, 2010 3:08 pm

    I’ve loved what I’m read by Tyler so far, so I’ll keep an eye out for this one. I’m glad to hear it doesn’t disappoint!

  24. March 9, 2010 4:10 pm

    Your comment about the main character’s lack of backbone made me remember why I stopped reading Ann Tyler. It seemed like there was always one character that I yelled at for being such a wimp. Maybe someday I’ll try her again, maybe at a time when I really need to yell at someone. 🙂

  25. March 9, 2010 4:41 pm

    I am so looking forward to this one! I have Anne’s Breathing Lessons which I am yet to read, but hopefully will read it soon.

  26. March 9, 2010 5:59 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Anne Tyler–will have to watch for this one. Thank you!

  27. March 9, 2010 9:14 pm

    I really enjoy Anne Tyler but she doesn’t always create the strongest characters!

  28. March 10, 2010 2:00 pm

    I’m a fan of Anne Tyler’s work and I’m glad to hear that it didn’t disapoint you. She has a unique style of writing that is subtle and thought provoking.

  29. justicejenniferreads permalink
    March 10, 2010 3:24 pm

    I haven’t read anything by Anne Tyler, but this sounds like a really interesting story.

  30. March 10, 2010 4:30 pm

    I haven’t heard of this book. It does sound interesting. I’ll keep my eye out for the book.

  31. March 10, 2010 7:22 pm

    Well, it looks like I’m going to have to read this one, especially if I’m to find out about the title of the book!! 😀

  32. March 10, 2010 10:08 pm

    I have not read any Anne Tyler, but I enjoy character driven novels, so I will keep this one in mind.

  33. March 10, 2010 10:54 pm

    I haven’t read any Tyler in a while. Sounds like it’s time to get back to her!

  34. March 11, 2010 3:48 pm

    I think Tyler is a great author and have read quite a few of her books. I think that this one sounds good as well, because I really like quiet and introspective reads. Even though the main character is a bit spineless, I think I would enjoy this book. Thanks for the informative review!

  35. March 11, 2010 8:51 pm

    Living in Baltimore makes it even easier to enjoy her books. The settings are all true to life, and you start to wonder which private school served as the basis for her story. I enjoyed this book, and was glad that she threw a twist or two into the plot.

  36. kadybug permalink
    March 12, 2010 12:00 am

    I am two books away from reading this one!

  37. March 12, 2010 4:25 pm

    I really enjoyed this one too. Anne Tyler is a great writer and one of my comfort reads.

  38. March 16, 2010 5:42 pm

    It’s been quite a while since I last read anything by Tyler. Must’ve been Digging to America. This one sounds like a winner. I picked up a copy at work and thumbed through, reading a few pages, and now I’m interested. Thanks for the lovely review.

  39. March 22, 2010 2:25 pm

    Thanks for the review , will put it on my list.

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