Anne Tyler has done it again for me. "A Patchwork Planet" is a heart-warming, "slice of life" story that draws you into the world of 30 year old Barnaby Gaitlin. Gaitlin is a young man who has struggled all his life because he marches to the beat of a different drummer than those around him. In his youth he was in trouble with the law and his mother especially has never let him forget it. As readers we share his most intimate thoughts about his family and friend relationships and happily see him mature and start to realize his true worth.
Barnaby works for a company called "Rent-a-back" that caters to senior citizens by doing odd jobs, running errands etc. He quite enjoys his job and is loved by all the clients. It was interesting to get into the minds of some of these elderly people and see life through their eyes. The compassion and friendship that Barnaby extended to his clients is an example to us all.