Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mary Ann in Autumn, A Tales of the City Novel, $38.99, Random House

Mary Ann in Autumn, A Tales of the City Novel, $38.99, Random House

Do you need to be a brave author to revisit a collection of protagonists and stories that have attained cult status in the way that Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City did in the late 1970s?  For many of you who have reached a certain age, these stories defined a world you were sure should exist somewhere.  And that somewhere really had to be San Francisco.  At the same time Michael, Mary Ann, Brian, Anna, Mona and all their friends encouraged us with the lives they lead that seemed in many ways similar to our own experiences.

Its strength came from Mary Ann’s wide eyed innocence upon arrival in San Francisco from Cleveland and the quick moving action of the lives of the quirky inhabitants of this city on the bay whom she met and became friends with.

Mary Ann in Autumn reintroduces us beautifully to Barbary Lane and the people who have lived there.  Mary Ann, who fled her adopted daughter and friends for a high flying media job in New York, has returned and this return is not being immediately welcomed by everyone.  Michael and his young husband Ben, Michael’s business partner, Jake and many other characters have to adjust their busy lives to fit in Mary Ann and the problems that have driven her to seek out her old friends.   

Yes Maupin has successfully pulled off a great story in this revisit.  He delivers a longed for update on everyone’s lives within a contemporary story that rings true.  If you get this book as a gift this Christmas you will certainly treasure and enjoy it.

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