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Publisher's Summary

"Baltimore Woman Disappears During Family Vacation."

The headlines are all the same: Beloved mother and wife Delia Grinstead was last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing only a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with $500 tucked inside. To the best of her family's knowledge, she has disappeared without a trace. 

But Delia didn't disappear. She ran. 

Exhausted with her routine and everyone else's plans for her, Delia needed an out, a chance to make a new life for herself and to become a different person. The new Delia can let go of all the hurt and resentment that left her stuck in her past. As she eagerly sheds the pieces of herself she no longer needs, Delia discovers feelings of passion and wonder she'd long since forgotten. The thrill of walking away from it all leads to a newfound sense of self and the feeling that she is, finally, the star of her own life story.

©1995 Anne Tyler (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Ladder of Years

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific book, outstanding narration.

First narration: Elisabeth Rodgers is an outstanding narrator. This is the first book I’ve listened to narrated by her and I will go through the list of books she has narrated to seek out more. I wish there were more than 5 stars for performance.

The book. I could make an essay out of a review, a long essay. I have a personal history with this title, having read it in hardcover in 1995. I was at that time a mother of young children, babies, and the book made me so angry at the main character (and Tyler) that I threw the book against the wall 2/3 through, vowed to never read another word by Tyler, and kept my vow.

Here I am 25 years later, first I’ve picked up by Tyler since, back where I left off with an ENTIRELY different perspective.

Delia, I get it.

I’d like to argue with the book’s end, oh I want to argue!, but the ending is typical Tyler (as I recall all these years later), and typical Tyler is generally a good thing. Her work (prior to Ladder of Years) was healing to me in my 20’s as I sorted through the wreckage left from a chaotic childhood and dysfunctional family. Nobody sorts dysfunction better than Tyler, even if she never actually fixes anything.

Anyway, the part where this book has affected me this deeply over this many years, well, that says a lot about the book, the author, and me. The part where I’m now furious at the end and not the middle? Gonna have to sort that!

Terrific book. I’m glad to be back in Anne Tyler’s world.

1 person found this helpful

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my fav Anne Tyler book

I have loved this book for many, many years. I reread or re-listen to it at least once a year. I love the main character and her journey to find where she belongs.

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Just as Terrific the Second Time Around

I read this book years ago and just recommended it to my book club. So I’m rereading it and also just finished the Audible version read by Elisabeth Rodgers. She captures the nuances in all the characters’ voices and brings them to vivid life in my imagination. They sound exactly as they read. And this book is so entertaining. I’m ready to go back to the beginning and listen again.

1 person found this helpful

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Can we just re-set our lives?

Tyler's brilliant and loving exploration of a woman, at mid-life, trying a fresh do-over of her life. Beautifully crafted to offer a range of views on life, marriage, children and aging. All with Tyler's signature style of storytelling.