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By Anne Tyler

"An nearly wonderful tale of love...Morgan emerges as a real hero."

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Morgan Gower works at Cullen's ironmongery store in north Baltimore. He has seven daughters and a warmhearted spouse, yet as he trips into the grey sector of heart age, he unearths his family starting to be tedious. Then Morgan meets beautiful younger newlyweds less than a few fairly severe circumstances--and all 3 observe that no one's middle is safe....

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All’s reasonable Pawnshop, Billiards, Waterbeds, Beer, First condo of Jesus, SOUL BROTHER don't BURN. plants have been blooming in not going places—around a urban garbage can and within the tiny, parched weed-patch underneath a rowhouse window. He grew to become a nook the place a guy sat at the scale back flicking out the blade of his knife, slamming it close with the heel of his hand, and flicking it out back. He traveled on. He handed Meller road, then Merger highway. He grew to become down Crosswell. He parked and switched the engine off and sat Crafts limitless. It used to be months seeing that he’d been the following. the store window used to be choked with Easter goods now—hand-decorated eggs and crammed rabbits, a patchwork cover like an early spring backyard. The Merediths’ home windows have been empty, as continuously; you couldn’t inform a specific thing from them. possibly they’d moved. (They might flow in a taxi, with one suitcase, after ten mins’ coaching. ) He slid out of the automobile and walked towards the store. He climbed the stairs, driven during the glass door, and gazed up the slender staircase. yet he didn’t have what it took to proceed. (What may he say? How might he clarify himself? ) as an alternative, he became left, via a moment glass door and into the crafts store. It smelled of uncooked wooden. A gray-haired, square-boned lady in a calico smock was once arranging hand-carved animals on a desk. “Hello,” she stated, after which she glanced up and gave him a startled glance. It was once the pinnacle hat, he intended. He needed he’d worn whatever extra applicable. And why have been there no different shoppers? He was once on their lonesome, conspicuous, in a roomful of quilted silence. Then he observed the puppets. “Ah, so! ” he acknowledged. “Ze poppets! ” unusually, he appeared to have constructed an accent—from what nation, he couldn’t say. “Zese poppets are for getting? ” he requested. “Why, yes,” the lady stated. They lay on a middle desk: Pinocchio, a princess, a dwarf, an previous girl, all way more elaborate than the 1st ones he’d noticeable. Their heads have been now not around, uncomplicated, rubber-ball heads yet have been built of a few padded textile, with tiny stitches making wrinkles and bulges. The old-lady puppet, particularly, had a face so furrowed that he couldn’t support working his finger throughout it. “Wonderful! ” he acknowledged, nonetheless in his accessory. “They’re sewn through a woman named Emily Meredith,” the lady informed him. “A extraordinary craftsman, fairly. ” Morgan nodded. He felt a mix of jealousy and happiness. “Yes, yes,” he desired to say, “don’t i do know her rather well? Don’t i do know either one of them? who're you, to talk of them? ” but in addition he desired to pay attention how this lady observed them, what the remainder of the area needed to say approximately them. He waited, nonetheless protecting the puppet. the lady grew to become again to her animals. “Perhaps I see her workroom,” he stated. “Pardon? ” “She leeve within reach, convinced? ” “Why, convinced, she lives simply upstairs, yet I’m unsure she—” “Zis capability greatly to me,” Morgan acknowledged. throughout from him, at the different aspect of the desk, stood a blond wood cupboard full of weaving. Its doorways have been wavery glass, and so they mirrored a shortened and distorted view of Morgan—a squat, bearded guy in a best hat.

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