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Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler

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Author shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2011.

One of Erica James' favourite books.

After a terrible family tragedy Ian Bedloe seeks guidance at the aptly named Church of the Second Chance. For the next 20 years he tries to make amends for the things that happened to his family. Intricate story lines and characters seem to effortlessly flow together and the uplifting ending makes this a brilliant family drama.

August 2009 Guest Editor Erica James on ANNE TYLER
Similarly Anne Tyler’s novels deal with the every day ups and downs of relationships and family life. She has a wonderful knack for creating totally believable but wholly ordinary characters to whom we can all relate. Nobody does domestic drama better than Anne Tyler and she is the standard to which I aspire!

If you like Anne Tyler you might also like to read books by Isla Dewar, A. D. Miller and Lydia Netzer.


Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler

When eighteen year old Ian Bedloe pricks the bubble of his familys optimistic self-deception, his brother Danny drives into a wall, his sister-in-law falls apart, and his parents age before his eyes. Consumed by guilt Ian finds the hope of forgiveness at the Church of the Second Chance, and leaves college to cope with the three children he has inherited and his own embarrassing religion. Twenty years on, Ian's prospects of a second chance are receding fast when, out of the heart of the domesticity that has engulfed him, strides a new figure who will bring him new life.

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'Saint Maybe shows Anne Tyler at the peak of her power - a real slice of middle America, blessed with equal amounts of humour, pathos and compassion that will ensure heartfelt devotion from all her readers' Time Out

'A brilliant writer of emotionally sophisticated novels, funny, tragic, wise' Lynne Truss

'Compulsively readable, realistic, funny, touching' The Times

'One of the truest writers alive' Sunday Times

About the Author

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. This is Anne Tyler’s sixteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore. In 2012 Anne Tyler was the winner of the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd November 1992


Anne Tyler

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464 pages


Literary Fiction
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Family Drama
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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