Imagine coming to terms with your life and realizing that you are boring and everything bad that has ever happened to you was of your own doing. This is what happens to Liam Pennywell in the Anne Tyler book Noah's Compass. After suffering a head injury, Liam becomes obsessed with gaining back his lost memories of the night of the accident. He has plenty of time to do this, as he was recently forced into retirement at sixty. Instead of regaining that small amount of memory back he instead must deal with the memories he does have left - those of his divorce, his first wife's death. While dealing with these past memories and the emotions they conjure, he must also deal with his present issues, like a new romance, living with this teenage daughter, and forming a relationship with his grandson. As he goes through these new experiences, while reconciling his old memories, he starts to question how today will be remembered tomorrow. Though a mundane book on the plots surface, it explores questions of how much control we have over the past as well as the future.
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