The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon’s insular world and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life.

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The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

They were supposed to stay at the beach for a week, but neither of them had the heart for it and they decided to come back early. Macon drove. Sarah sat next to him, leaning her head against the side window.

Macon wore a summer suit, his traveling suit – much more sensible for traveling than jeans, he always said. Sarah wore a beach dress. Her skin was brown from the sun but Macon was Mill pale. He was a tall, gray-eyed man, with short fair hair, and the kind of skin that easily burns.

Soon the sky grew’ black and several enormous raindrops hit the roof of the car. Sarah sat up straight.

‘Let’s hope it doesn’t rain,’ she said.

I don’t mind a little rain,’ Macon said.

A wind blew’ up and the rain got heavier. Macon pulled out to pass a coach whose wheels were throwing up huge sprays of water from the road, and there was a moment of watery blindness until the coach was left behind.

‘I don’t know how you can see to drive,’ Sarah said.

‘Maybe you should put on your glasses.’

‘Putting on my glasses would help you to see?’

‘Not me; you,’ Macon said.

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

Sarah’s hands were holding the edge of her seat very tightly. ‘We could stop for a bit,’ she said. ‘Wait till the rain passes.’

‘Sarah, if we were in any danger, I’d have stopped long ago.’ They passed a Held where the rain seemed to fall in sheets.

Water ran in rivers across the road, and Sarah had to raise her voice above the noise of the rain on the car roof.

‘I don’t think you really care that much,’ she said. ‘The other day I said to you, “Now that Ethan’s dead sometimes wonder if there’s any point to life.” Do you remember what you said?’

‘Well, not exactly,’ Macon said.

‘You said, “Honey, to tell the truth, it never seemed to me there was much point to begin with.” Those were your words.’

‘Um…’

‘You’re not a comfort, Macon,’ Sarah said.

‘Honey, I’m trying to be.’

‘You just go on your same old way like before. Your little routines and habits, day after day. No comfort at all. This rain, for example. You know it makes me nervous. What harm would it do to stop a while, show your concern for me?’…

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