Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Anne Tyler has made a career of telling the often less-than glorious stories of people enduring life’s every day ups and downs. Having come of age in rural Raleigh, North Carolina, Tyler draws upon her background to fashion tales of the South that are quirky, humorous, and insightful. In Noah’s Compass we meet Liam Pennywell, a man of unexceptional talents, plain demeanor, modest means and curtailed ambition. At age 60, he’s been fired from his teaching job at a second-rate private boys’ school in Baltimore, a job below his academic training and expectations. He is a survivor of two failed marriages and father of three grown daughters. Liam is jolted into alarm after he’s attacked in his apartment and loses all memory of the experience. His search to recover those lost hours leads him into an exploration of his disappointing life and into a relationship with Eunice, a socially inept walking fashion disaster who is half his age. Liam is not always a very likeable fellow and it’s only after his youngest daughter comes to stay with him that he realizes how much of his life he was missing. Not one of Tyler’s best but a good character study if you stick with it.