French Braid

The Sunday Times Bestseller

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Pub Date 24 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 23 Apr 2022

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A brilliantly perceptive, painfully true and funny journey deep into one family's foibles, from the 1950s right up to the changed world of today

When the kids are grown and Mercy Garrett gradually moves herself out of the family home, everyone is determined not to notice.

Over at her studio, she wants space and silence. She won't allow any family clutter. Not even their cat, Desmond.

Yet it is a clutter of untidy moments that forms the Garretts' family life over the decades, whether that's a painstaking Easter lunch or giving a child a ride, a fateful train journey or an unexpected homecoming.

And it all begins in 1959, with a family holiday to a cabin by a lake. It's the only one the Garretts will ever take, but its effects will ripple through the generations.

'Gorgeous, charming, profound, and written with such lightness of touch' MARIAN KEYES

'A perfect work of fiction' MEG MASON

'French Braid is Anne Tyler at her surgical, spare best' NIGELLA LAWSON

'Exquisitely crafted, tender, hilarious, devastatingly precise, I loved this powerful meditation on the small and often unvoiced moments that can make up a life' RACHEL JOYCE

'Such joyous immersion, I lost myself, and loved this superbly imperfect family' TESSA HADLEY

'A faultless novel, effortlessly profound. I read it in two sittings, totally immersed' VICTORIA HISLOP

'If Anne Tyler isn't the best writer in the world, who is?' BBC RADIO 4 WOMAN'S HOUR

** A 2022 Book to Look Forward To in The Times, Daily Mail, Financial Times, i, Irish Times, Scotsman, Good Housekeeping **


A brilliantly perceptive, painfully true and funny journey deep into one family's foibles, from the 1950s right up to the changed...

Advance Praise

‘What a wonderful, natural writer she is... she knows all the secrets of the human heart’ MONICA ALI

‘My favourite author... She writes such absorbing, wise, tender books, devastatingly acute about human nature... She never fails’ JACQUELINE WILSON

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ JOHN UPDIKE

‘She is and always will be my favourite author’ LIANE MORIARTY

‘Anne Tyler has the ability to take the minutiae of characters’ lives and say wise things about the human condition that other writers can only dream of’ STYLIST

‘Anne Tyler really is the best... Her sheer brilliance makes it all seem so effortless’ GRAHAM NORTON

‘If Anne Tyler isn’t the best writer in the world, who is?’ BBC RADIO 4, WOMAN’S HOUR

‘Anne Tyler takes the ordinary, the small, and makes them sing’ RACHEL JOYCE

‘My favourite writer’ NICK HORNBY

‘Tyler writes with an apparent effortlessness which conceals great art’ HELEN DUNMORE

‘What Tyler does best is to illuminate that life is not about what one achieves but how one gets to that point’ JODI PICOULT

‘Tyler’s sentences are wholly hers, instantly recognisable and impossible to duplicate’ HANYA YANIGIHARA

‘Astonishing’ CAITLIN MORAN

‘A masterly author’ SEBASTIAN FAULKS

‘One of my favourite writers’ ALI SMITH

‘The Greatest Living Novelist? Easy. It’s Anne Tyler’ JOHN BOYNE

‘What a wonderful, natural writer she is... she knows all the secrets of the human heart’ MONICA ALI

‘My favourite author... She writes such absorbing, wise, tender books, devastatingly acute about...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781784744625
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

A charming novel about how you can leave home in person but take the past with you. Anne Tyler’s characters are both highly individual and acutely recognisable. The reader inhabits all her characters from the cat to the ghastly boyfriends.

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This is a wonderful story. I adored it from start to finish. I found the Garrett family’s story moving and relatable. My favourite Anne Tyler novel is A Spool of Blue Thread, but I found French Braid to be comparable. Anne Tyler is able to help the reader see inside a characters mind and heart. I loved the characters complexity, I felt Robin was especially well drawn. I loved it and highly recommend. Thanks to Random House UK. Vintage and Netgalley for granting me this wish.

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Anne Tyler is an author unlike any other when it comes to telling us a tale of the American Family. This time wearing together the tale of the Garret family from the late 50s through to present day Pamdemic fuelled America.

No other author can tell you so much about what it is to be human with such well rounded characters but, at times, sparce words.

The Garret family may not seem to be close at times, their behaviour towards each other can appear cold to an outsider, but they absolutely represent so many families today. Becuase sometimes in life it isn't about what we say to each other, it can be what we don't say
"This is what families do for each other - hide a few uncomfortable truths, allow a few self-deceptions. Little kindnesses.'

Another great book looking at human nature from one of America's greatest story tellers. Read it, love it, and then call your nearest and dearest or give them a hug.

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Another magnificent novel by Anne Tyler. Her books are always a delight and French Braid is no exception. She has a unique talent for taking ordinary family life and turning it into a fascinating and heartbreaking study of human flaws.

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Anne Tyler is a superb author. Her characters and observations are always believable and she writes with such attention to detail, you are always drawn into the subtle worlds hat she's describing. As good as A Spool of Blue Thread. A fantastic read

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I love Anne Tyler's books, and this one was no exception. It is impossible not to get caught up in the lives of her characters, and the portrayal of ordinary family life is accurate and completely believable. A lovely book and one I would thoroughly recommend.

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Sad story beautifully written. This author has an enviable way of reaching to the heart of human experience and expertly depicting family dynamics. One of her best stories from a gallery of candidates, Will make a brilliant book club choice with its wealth of potential discussion points. One not to miss.

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I absolutely loved this book, I think it’s my favourite Anne Tyler book.

I knew nothing about this book when I started reading, but I quickly became invested in it.

The story of a family from the 1950’s, right up the present day pandemic. I was captured from the beginning and loved watching the family characters and dynamics develop through their stories.

It isn’t a very long book (288 pages) but there’s a lot packed in and I’m still thinking about the characters days after I’ve finished reading.

A really good read!

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I love Anne Tyler’s books and this one is no exception.She writes so convincingly about the little things that make up family life ,with all the highs and lows that most families experience.This book centres on the Garretts ,beginning with their only holiday in 1959 and carrying on at intervals right up to the current pandemic.
I read this book very quickly and was completely captivated by the quality of the writing throughout.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review which reflects my own opinion.

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