Redhead By The Side Of The Road by Anne Tyler (Vintage Publishing, 2020)
Nobody writes about the everyday like Anne Tyler. Her characters try their best to understand a baffling world even if it means they seem somewhat odd to others. This, her latest book, is a perfect example of not only this theme but also of how to say a great deal in only 180 pages, with humour and impeccable insight. Nathan, an IT specialist, is completely set in his ways; so much so that he cannot stop himself believing that a fire hydrant that he jogs past at the same time each day is a redheaded young woman. He loves his chaotic family but cannot understand his sister’s ‘boundless tolerance for clutter’. Then one day two events turn his timetabled life upside down and make him ask himself for the first time what does he cherish most – unpredictable people or self-imposed rules?