This is my first try of Anne Tyler and it is not a disappointment.
The plot of the story is no a complicated one but it deals with many main problems of modern America: inter-cultured marriage, immigration, teenager problem, education, life style and diet of American e.t.c. A complex dilemma would come into exist with these problems interweaved.
It looks like Kate is too obeyed to say no to her father’s rules and even his crazy arrangement to marry her to his assistant. She is too used to being a motherly role–she cooks, shops and does laundry according to her father’s rule; she does tax and pay bill for her father; she keeps a good watch on her sister and mind her more than her father; she doesn’t has her own life and career plans. She is very lucky that everything turns right and she has a happy marriage which is not expected at the first beginning.
But is she simply being lucky?
Obviously enough, she is an introversive person: she hates chichat and mixing with people; she doesn’t care the tradition and social manners like holding a wedding or inviting friends;she would never say “I like/love you” even she did like/love someone; she is not “restraint”,”tact” and “diplomacy” as Mrs. Darling said.
But she is honest.She is loath to play sweet and adorable. That’s why she is loved by children. She has brains, very sensitive and patient. She is not a sweet girl but a VINEGAR GIRL–special, has her own charm. I think that is why Pyotr secretly falls in love with her (I believe he did like her from the first beginning).
Sometimes I believe it might not be a bad thing to have passive life. I mean, it is good for one to choose but most of time, we don’t have much choice-we have our responsibility, our worries and fear or not strong enough to bear very challenge. We may more easily accept our fate, happy to let our life organised by others. By accepting these passively, one doesn’t ask for more and more likely be well accommodated to reality. There maybe something unexpected, something new turn out when one is content with what one’s have. If you ask more, you gain less and might have less happiness; while you expect less, you might be gifted more. Life is funny but fair.
I am happy for Kate. I think Pyotr is a good match for her. They are both “weirdo” and they share the same life philosophy and they are independent-able to enjoy their own life and work without much interruption of each other. They are: 1+1>1
Happy ending. No regret. I am looking forward to read more of Anne Tyler.