Monday, January 31, 2011

Mary Ann in Autumn

Another journey to San Francisco via Armistead Maupin in "Mary Ann in Autumn" (287 pages). From the jacket of the book:

"Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband.

Mary Ann finds temporary refuge in the couple's backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of fifty-seven, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes. Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to reengage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her checkered past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined.

After the intimate first-person narrative of Maupin's last novel,
Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn marks the author's return to the multicharacter plotlines and darkly comic themes of his earlier work. Among those caught in Mary Ann's orbit are her estranged daughter, Shawna, a popular sex blogger; Jake Greenleaf, Michael's transgendered gardening assistant; socialite DeDe Halcyon-Wilson; and the indefatigable Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann's former landlady at 28 Barbary Lane.

More than three decades in the making, Armistead Maupin's legendary Tales of the City series rolls into a new age, still sassy, irreverent, and curious, and still exploring the boundaries of the human experience with insight, compassion, and mordant wit."

There's not too much I can add to this blog entry that the information above doesn't cover without giving too much away. I really enjoyed Maupin's latest installment in the "Tales of the City" series. Combining old and new characters alike it's really a lot of fun to revisit the characters I've know for a couple of decades. This latest novel also ties up an old story line that was originally began in the original trilogy. Another fun and satisfying read from Maupin. Recommended.

"I just don't understand, that's all."
"Understand what?"
"Why the universe hands me such random shit."
Anna's smile was inscrutable. "Sometimes the universe has a slow day."

"It all goes so fast, she thought. We dole out our lives in dinner parties and plane flights, and it's over before we know it. We lose everyone we love, if they don't lose us first, and every single thing we do is intended to distract us from that reality."

1 comment:

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