The Tin Can Tree

by Tyler Anne | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0425094448 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 9/3/2004
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Friday, September 03, 2004
Another 2nd hand Tyler, to add to my slow progress through her back catalogue.

Jan'05 - i've just read Tyler's first novel If Morning Ever Comes, so I might bump this - her second novel - up the running order ;)

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 07, 2006
This is typical ‘early’ Tyler (ooh, listen to me!), quite a slow and hypnotic rhythm, although in the end – bear with it – you get to really feel for the characters. Apologies for my lack of knowledge of US geography – the bit below Washington and above Florida that is! This seems to be set away from Tyler’s usual Baltimore suburban home ground, as it is set in a relatively poor tobacco-growing area; suffused with a hot & laid-back deep-south atmosphere.

James spends a lot of time and most of his energy looking after his sick brother Ansel. And then there’s his partner, sort-of, Joan, who is similarly drifting; living like a guest in her own life, with her Aunt and Uncle in the same ‘three-family house’. The novel is set against the back-drop of the death of a young girl, Janie Rose, and the reactions & coping mechanisms of those around it.

Photographs feature quite a lot, including a haunting image of Janie Rose, her death and her appearnace in the picture an accident, and others which the semi-professional James has collected with,‘...the idea of photographing everyone he knew in the way his mind pictured them when they weren’t around’; as well as more formally posed family groups. I think there's a subtle message is about living a physical life in the here-and-now rather than sealing people and time in black-and-white, like museum pieces to be brought out occasionally and looked at rather than experienced.

Will James & Joan get together in the end...’not telling ;)

(ps. i've seen a couple of negative reviews about this; suggestions that it's one of Tyler's weaker books. But i'm not sure, I think there's plenty to like about it, maybe it's a bit more understated than her usual work?)

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan at on Friday, March 17, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (3/17/2006 UTC) at

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Journal Entry 4 by LindyB28 from Acocks Green, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 18, 2006
I'm going to hold onto this to read; looks good!

Journal Entry 5 by LindyB28 from Acocks Green, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, June 02, 2006
I found this an absorbing narrative but ultimately unsatisfying. The characters were exceptionally well drawn, and while very little "happens", Tyler's skill is to make the situation so vivid as to ensure that the pages keep being turned.
Since I haven't read any Anne Tyler novels before, I'm glad to have had the chance to read this, and will plan a suitable release at some point.

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