Books: Wedded Blahs

Paying sad witness as an unmatched pair try to fit

We know who Anne Tyler is. The author of The Accidental Tourist is a quiet observer of the existential quagmire, the writer who returns again and again to the predicament of people who are trying not to rock the boat or, if they do, to set it back up quickly. The Amateur Marriage (Knopf; 306 pages) is another of those stories, though the wider world intrudes more prominently in this one than in most other Tyler novels, largely in the effect that war and social upheaval have on the life of an uneasily married couple.

In the days right after Pearl...

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