A Slipping Down Life by Anne Tyler


Liz Dexter at Adventures in reading, running and working from home invited those interested to dive into the authorship of Anne Tyler with The Anne Tyler re-read project 2021. Two books are scheduled for February; A Slipping Down Life and The Clock Winder

"Evie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell—and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too real…."

Anne Tyler has with Evie Decker created another bigger than life character. A girl different from others, with few friends, good at school, but without any real interests or aim in life. That is, until she gets obsessed with a local rock singer and takes fate into her own hands. Together with her only friend Violet she starts going to concerts at a local restaurant just to hear Casey sing. This leads to her carving his name, backwards, onto her forehead. It gives a short time of local fame and is to change her life forever. 

One thing leads to the next and before both Evie and Casey know it they are married and living together in a small, rented house. Too young, too immature, and no real vision of how their life together will be. In the beginning there are a few glimpses of happiness. However, as Evie develops her mind and visions, Casey is not able to do anything out of his talent. Easy to leave things when they don't turn out the way he wants, he cannot take the responsibility for their marriage. And when Evie confronts him, he attacks by asking Evie why she carved his name onto her forehead. The answer is astonishing.

Once again Anne Tyler is spot on with her characters, her descriptions of people, places and the environment in which her characters live.  Beautifully written and a story that takes you to the core of love and what life is about. 

"Because of the edgeless shimmer of his hair in the sunlight, he seemed only another daydream, nothing to get nervous about. "Afternoon," he said."

"He sat on the top porch step, with his forearms resting on his knees. Now that he was in the shade he had lost his shimmer. He was made of solid flesh, damp from the heat. Evie began swinging back and forth very rapidly." 



  1. A great review. It's so interesting that he is the one who is supposed to be going places and she is stuck, but in the end, she's the one who moves forward and he's stuck.

    1. Yes, that is interesting. I thought she would be the one who got stuck. I almost said, while reading, no don't marry him, don't marry him. But, she came out the stronger and more mature from the experience.

  2. I'm embarrassed to say I have never read any Ann Tyler. After reading this, I think I should.

  3. You should try. I am sure you will love her books. Her characters are often a little bit outside the 'normal' society, but are acting out of their own will. I admire when people dare to be themselves, without thinking of conventions. I find her characters utterly charming in their peculiar ways.


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