Readers of Anne Tyler’s sixteenth novel, Back When We Were Grownups (2001), will encounter many of the plotline elements present in her previous works. These include: suburban Baltimore, Maryland, USA, as the setting; a traffic jam of unique, offbeat characters who say and do the unexpected; extended family celebrations that include non-related acquaintances and engender a sense of reconciliation; the theme of travel through time; and, most importantly, a fork in life’s road providing the opportunity for a second chance or major life transition for the central character.
Widowed for many years, 53-year-old Rebecca Holmes Davitch laments the fact that she has “turned into the wrong person” (3). This discovery c…
Donohue, Cecilia. "Back When We Were Grownups". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=14605, accessed 19 January 2017.]