Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
Micah Mortimer, 43, likes his routines. He goes for a run every morning before breakfast, then cleans his basement apartment before beginning work as superintendent in a Baltimore apartment building and making house calls for technical support as the Tech Hermit. Occasionally he sees his woman friend Cassia, but fails to empathize when her landlord learns she has a cat and she could get evicted. Micah’s mainly solitary world is upended when Brink, the 18-year-old son of his college girlfriend, shows up on his doorstep. Later, a gathering with his large, chaotic family has him wondering if they like Cassia, a fourth grade teacher, better than him. A bittersweet and yet heartwarming story of a man reluctantly learning to change his point of view. I’d like to see what Micah does next, and hope he makes some changes in his minimalist apartment. At 177 pages, this shorter book is a good introduction to the author of Clock Dance and many other acclaimed novels.