Book Reviews of Back When We Were Grownups

Back When We Were Grownups
Back When We Were Grownups
Author: Anne Tyler
ISBN-13: 9780345446862
ISBN-10: 0345446860
Publication Date: 5/2002
Pages: 304
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 255

3.4 stars, based on 255 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

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

reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on
Helpful Score: 13
I love to read, but I couldn't get past the first chapter in this book. The storyline was very contrived, it felt like I was reading something written by a 12 year old girl. And as shallow as this may sound, the main characters ridiculous names (NoNo, Patch, Jeep, Biddy, Min Foo, Poppy? Come ON, is this a children's book?!) were what finally made me say "enough" and return this book to the library. Thank goodness it was only borrowed.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
On the New York Times Bestseller list. I enjoyed this book very much. It's about a woman in her 50's coming to terms with the fact that over the years, she has lived more and more of her life for others, and has no life of her own. How she discovers this and how she goes about changing the situation is very well written by Anne Tyler.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is one of Tylers better books. The main character is more fully developed as the book unfolds, and it is hard to find a likeable protagonist that is not young, sexy, exciting. Tyler provides a likeable heroine that is middle aged, not particularly beautiful,over weight and wonders what the road not taken would have been like. I think most of her books are good reads but forgetable. This one is the exception.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow moving, but a great character study.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Thought provoking book regarding blended families and stepmothering. also about the mother/daughter relationship.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Since I live in Baltimore, I enjoyed the visualizing the streets and neighborhoods the author describes.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Very interesting characters and family dynamics. This is a nice easy read - I read it on vacation while riding in the car. I was afraid the author was going to take this in a rote direction, but thankfully she veered from that. An enjoyable book about past choices, the road not taken and self identity.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really like Anne Tyler. For me this book was good, not great. I didn't really connect with most of the characters, and the story line felt uneven to me. That said, Tyler is one of the best American writers going, and her writing is always superb, so it's always a pleasure to read her work.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on
Helpful Score: 2
A wonderful and very real-people story! Gives you a lot to think about in your own life.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three year old grandmother, suddenly realizes that she has turned into the wrong person in this novel by Anne Tyler. At an engagement party for her stepdaughter, Rebecca suddenly realizes that her life, which had been heading down a certain path in college, had taken a drastic turn and now she is not where she should be. As Rebecca continues planning parties in her Baltimore home (a profession she married into), babysitting her grandchildren at the drop of a hat, and supporting her daughters through their disappointments and squabbles, she contemplates what her life would have (and maybe should have) been if she hadn't changed her course.

This is the first book I have read by acclaimed author Anne Tyler. Her writing style is lovely and calming and the characters are realistic and endearing. She develops them beautifully, and Rebecca's desperate search for purpose and identity (among family members who completely take her for granted) has an alarming ring of truth to it. However, the plot in this book was a little slow moving for me. Long chapters combined with too many characters introduced too soon made it difficult for me to get into the story right away. This certainly wasn't my favorite book, but I will seek out more of Anne Tyler's novels. After all, she did win the Pulitzer!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Eventhough she seems to have a great life, a Woman nearing post-middle age is doubting the choices she made earlier in life and wonders what life she could have had. Good Read.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Anne Tyler at her best.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great characters, interesting plotline. Well written.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was my first Ann Tyler novel, and I love her style of writing, so it will be the first of many I'll read I'm sure. I felt like I knew this large quirky family after the first chapter and didn't want to put the book down.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reading Anne Tyler is like drinking a cup of hot tea on a cold wet day. A good "comfort author"
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This author really has the knack of describing real people; but they are always a little odder than you or me.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I just couldn't get into this one - beautiful descriptive writing but too slow for me. I gave up part-way through and didn't ever have the desire to finish! This was my first Anne Tyler book so maybe her slower style just wasn't for me.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fantastic reading! I think that I, like many readers, find themselves growing older and wondering...how things could have been, or why are they this way now. Very encouraging reading!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 334 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I've always loved Anne Tyler's novels - and this one is one of her best.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Nice, Easy read. Enjoyed my first Anne Tyler book!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 8 more book reviews
This is a beautiful book about a large crazy family that a woman doesn't feel a part of, but is.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 5 more book reviews
Interesting premise - quick, easy read.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 145 more book reviews
First Line : Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person. ---
Good story, as are most of Tyler's books.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 40 more book reviews
An interesting concept but I didn't love it.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 982 more book reviews
Antoher great book by Anne Tyler. Rebecca Davitch looks back on her life and imagines the different choices she could have made.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 94 more book reviews
I just love Anne Tyler. This is a good one. Just so well crafted.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 166 more book reviews
Another highly acclaimed book by Pulitzer prize winning author Anne Tyler. Here a middle aged woman looks back on her life with some puzzlement, and decides to explore the roads not taken.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 120 more book reviews
A very entertaining and heartwarming book!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 58 more book reviews
I liked it, but it wasn't really what I thought it was going to be like or what I was looking for. I did not agree with the comments on the back of the book. I do feel the woman was not getting the love, respect or recognition she should have been getting from her family, but will keep my conclusion to myself so as not to spoil my ideas for future readers. I will say it is about getting older and wondering "what if" which I can identify with.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 3 more book reviews
Great Book!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 31 more book reviews
A New York Times Bestseller. "A lovely meditation on youthful expectations, midlife realities, love, loss, longevity, joy and recognizing one's true life." This book elicited quite a range of discussions, emotions and arguments in our book group!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 76 more book reviews
This is classic Anne Tyler, who is an excellent writer. With her perfect prose, she delivers yet another tale about the lives of everyday people.

This one reminds me a bit of Tyler's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Breathing Lessons.

Caution to those who are looking for an action-packed or dramatic storyline. That's not Tyler's style. She writes in an introspective way about reality, almost always leading the reader to recognize something of oneself in the process.

Four stars!
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 18 more book reviews
just couldn't get into this one so much - some people adore Anne Tyler books so you may love this one too
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 533 more book reviews
One of the best Ann Tyler I've read! She writes with sensitivity and almost poetry, that makes what she's trying to convey crystal clear. Loved the many faceted characters and their quirkiness endearing them to me.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 19 more book reviews
#1 National bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book.
"Maybe there's something glorious to be said, after all, for companionship, common cause, and sanctuary. And what there is to say, Anne Tyler has been saying for decades, with gravity and grace." - NY Times Book Review
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 7 more book reviews
I like Anne Tyler so much I bought this copy and then realized I'd already read it.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 15 more book reviews
nice story
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on
couldn't seem to get into it. Started it but wasn't my cup of tea. Practically new.
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 106 more book reviews
NY Times Bestseller
reviewed Back When We Were Grownups on + 19 more book reviews
Don't remember