Breathing Lessons: A Novel by Anne Tyler

By Anne Tyler

Maggie and Ira Moran were married for twenty-eight years–and it exhibits: of their quarrels, of their exercises, of their skill to tolerate with affection each one other’s eccentricities. Maggie, a kooky, cute meddler and an irrepressible optimist, wishes not anything greater than to mend her son’s damaged marriage. Ira is infuriatingly functional, a guy “who must have married Ann Landers.” And what starts off as an afternoon journey to a funeral turns into an event within the unforeseen. As Maggie and Ira navigate the riotous twists and turns, they intersect with an varied solid of eccentrics–and rediscover the magic of the line known as lifestyles and the enjoyment of getting someone subsequent to you to percentage the experience . . . bumps and all.

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No communication took place. The guy just stared for a spell and then his face disappeared and the door closed again. Whatever was happening outside kept on happening for the best part of an hour. Reacher was left alone in the room, sitting comfortably on the floor, just waiting. Then the waiting was over. A whole crowd of people came back together, noisy in the corridor, like an anxious herd. Reacher felt the stamp and shuffle of footsteps. Then the door opened and the gray-haired guy with the eyeglasses stepped into the room.

Petrosian," the guy gasped. The name meant nothing to Reacher. He had heard of a Soviet chess champion called Petrosian. And a Nazi tank general of the same name. But neither of them was running protection rackets in New York City. He smiled incredulously. " he said. " He put a lot of sneer in his voice, like out of all the whole spectrum of worrisome rivals his bosses could possibly think of, Petrosian was so far down the list he was just about totally invisible. " he said. "Petrosian? " The first guy was moving.

They put Reacher in the center of the elevator car and crowded in around him. The woman, the sandy guy, the driver, the two local boys. Five people, five weapons. The four men took a corner each and the woman stood in the center, close to Reacher, like she was claiming him as hers. One of the local boys touched a button and the door rolled shut and the elevator took off. It traveled upward for a long time and stopped hard with 21 showing on the floor indicator. The door thumped back and the local boys led the way out into a blank corridor.

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