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Back When We Were Grownups

Anne Tyler
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"I picked up Back When We Were Grownups off of my friend's bookshelf. I went over for dinner, and I consider her my own personal library, so I picked up that title and a few others. I read the back and it seemed interesting. Back When We Were Grownups is about one key character; her name is Rebecca, she's middle-aged, she's 53, and she wakes up one day and kind of realizes, "I'm not living the life I should have lived. I'm not the person I should have been." So she goes through and analyzes everything she's doing now, everything she could have been, starts reminiscing about college and her boyfriend then and thinking, "What if I'd lived with him? What would my life be like now?" It's basically a woman's mid-life crisis. The whole story is her feeling like, "This isn't the life I should have lived," and she gets to a point where she has so much conviction that she should be doing something else, and she starts picking up old hobbies, and she starts reading books that she had read in college that she was gonna write a report on, and then she even gets reacquainted with her old college/high school sweetheart, and it seems like she's totally going down this different path, and she's made this decision, and then all of a sudden, it's like she regroups and is okay with her life. As at the end of any book, it always seems to happen really fast; it was kind of unexpected that all of a sudden everything's back to normal, and she's comfortable. So it's really like this mid-life crisis. She freaks out for awhile, what if, what could have been, and then just kind of falls in love with her own life again, just being around everybody in her family who for a while she was frustrated with, and, "Why are they here? Why are they dependent on me?" and just re-falls in love with her life. It just seemed to have an awfully quick __________. [laughs] I would recommend this book really to anyone. Being that it's from the point of view of a woman, perhaps a man would have a hard time reading it and all the differences between men and women, they'd perhaps some would stereotype her and not have any patience for her story, so I guess it'd cater more towards women. I would give this book three and a half to four stars out of five."
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