Book Reviews of Earthly Possessions

Earthly Possessions
Earthly Possessions
Author: Anne Tyler
ISBN-13: 9780804108898
ISBN-10: 0804108897
Publication Date: 4/24/1993
Pages: 224
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 14

3.6 stars, based on 14 ratings
Publisher: Ivy Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

5 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Earthly Possessions on + 351 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Earthly Possessions focuses on two of Tyler's most endearing characters, Charlotte Emory and Jake. Charlotte is at a bank one day when Jake bungles a robbery. Holding Charlotte as his hostage and with 200 $1 bills in his pocket from the robbery, he steals a car and the two set off to find Jake's pregnant girlfriend somewhere in Florida. What may appear as a horrific kidnapping to others in the bank, provides Charolotte with an exciting adventure, once she knows she won't be harmed in anyway. Unfortunately Charlotte has never set foot outside of her small hometown and was at the bank to withdraw her life savings in order to run away from her husband. As Charlotte and Jake travel South, with the police searching for them, Charlotte reflects on her life and earthly posessions till the ending which is thought provoking and poignant.
reviewed Earthly Possessions on + 643 more book reviews
Product Description
For thirty-five year old Charlotte Emory, leaving her husband seems to offer the only way out from the mundaneness of every day life's earthly possessions and emotional complications. In the bank, she withdraws enough money to escape a life and a marriage gone sour. But Charlotte is about to escape in a way she never expected, as a young bank robber takes her hostage, and they head south for Florida in a stolen car





Earthly Possessions focuses on two of Tyler's most endearing characters, Charlotte Emory and Jake. Charlotte is at a bank one day when Jake bungles a robbery. Holding Charlotte as his hostage and with 200 $1 bills in his pocket from the robbery, he steals a car and the two set off to find Jake's pregnant girlfriend somewhere in Florida. What may appear as a horrific kidnapping to others in the bank, provides Charolotte with an exciting adventure, once she knows she won't be harmed in anyway. Unfortunately Charlotte has never set foot outside of her small hometown and was at the bank to withdraw her life savings in order to run away from her husband. As Charlotte and Jake travel South, with the police searching for them, Charlotte reflects on her life and earthly posessions till the ending which is thought provoking and poignant.

The end of the book and some other parts are reminiscent of some cental themes which Tyler seems to explore in many of her books. But the author relying on tried and true themes never seems to matter to me when I read Anne Tyler as once again she introduces me to quirky and memorable characters who stay with me long after I've finished the book
reviewed Earthly Possessions on
At thirty-five years old, Charlotte Emory has always lived a quiet, conventional life in Clarion, Maryland. She lives as simply as possible, but being a pastor's wife, especially when she isn't all that religious herself, is particularly hard on her. Her husband Saul, is a man who truly lives his faith, opening his doors to the downtrodden and those most in need; but for Charlotte, her life has become extremely unhappy.

Seeking to simplify everything, Charlotte decides one day to leave her husband. However, her last trip to the bank turns Charlotte's life in an entirely different direction when the bank is robbed. A restless young man in a nylon jacket takes her hostage - and soon the two are heading to Florida, into an unknown future, and a most unexpected fate.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was a very quick read, and the story gripped me right from the start. It was interesting for me to learn about Charlotte's past, and I truly wanted to know what would happen next. I give Earthly Possessions by Anne Tyler a definite A+! and will certainly keep my eyes open for more books by this author.
reviewed Earthly Possessions on + 107 more book reviews
I loved this book. Deeply ambivalent characters often read as cold or distant, but Anne Tyler's Charlotte is warm and immediately present, like a person sitting right next to me. Her story about becoming a housewife was so moving, even though the author keeps the tone light and breezy.

Which is probably for the best, because this portrayal of motherhood is not one we see often or one we would now approve of (or ever admit to). We meet Charlotte while she is literally in the act of leaving her family. In telling her story, she reveals that she is neither fulfilled by them nor particularly attached to them. She feels caught by them, and while she observes their patterns of caring for each other, she fill her role without any emotional caring. She says, "So I survived. Baked their cakes. Washed their clothes. Fed their dog."

Oh Charlotte! It's true, they would be just fine without her. And so she leaves, which of course does not solve the problem.

I would have been able to give this book five stars if it had been longer, and if ***spoiler*** Charlotte hadn't just gone back to her family at the end! Honestly I was probably too emotionally invested in Charlotte by the time the kidnapping wrapped up, but I really really really did not want her to go back to her messy house with her messy kids and the messy dog and the messy strangers who keep coming to live with her. Is she going to just cook and clean up after them for the rest of her life? That's not what she wants! This broke my heart. Did anyone else have their heart broken by the end of this book?

Highly recommended, especially if you love ambivalent characters or women in their 30s who make a break for it.
reviewed Earthly Possessions on + 3 more book reviews
Excellent writer!