Breathing Lessons Author:Anne Typer Support this site! — Get all your books by clicking on this Amazon link. — Like the Book? Buy it Now! — Anne Tyler's novel, Breathing Lessons takes place in the span of a single day. Maggie and Ira Moran begin their morning preparing to attend a funeral. Their trip takes them from Baltimore to a country town in Pennsylvania. Driving on the back ro... more »ads, Maggie realizes that they are near the home of their ex daughter-in-law, Fiona and her daughter, Leroy. Maggie entertains the thought of visiting them after all these years.
Maggie's dearest high-school friend, Serena is now a widow. Her husband Max just passed away. When the Morans arrive, several old classmates greet them. What is supposed to be a memorial service actually resembles a reunion. A series of events stir up old feelings and recollections for Maggie, and she examines her life and the choices she made.
An embarrassing, humorous, abrupt exit from the funeral leaves Ira and Maggie with half day's worth of time to spend. Ira wants to go back to his frame shop, Maggie decides she wants to visit her son Jesse's former wife and his only child. Maggie has it in her head that she can rekindle the love the couple had when they were young.
The Morans reflect again. The story goes back and forth between husband and wife. They analyze their own families as well as the one they created together. Jesse is a high school dropout who sings in a garage band. They play in local bars for "exposure" and are still looking for their big break.
Daisy, the Morans daughter, is heading off to college. She's bright yet distant, preferring to spend her time with her friend's mom rather than her own.
Maggie takes some more time to reflect on Jesse and Fiona's teenage marriage. Even then, Maggie meddled in their affairs with the best intentions and disastrous results.
Despite the past failures, Maggie still believes she knows what's best for her adult children. She has more on her mind than a short visit with her granddaughter. She thinks Jesse and Fiona should be together again.
The funeral, the surprise reunion and re-examination of a family's life are the subjects of Anne Tyler's 1989 Pulitzer Prize winning novel Breathing Lessons« less