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The Homesick RestaurantEzra's restaurant is a symbol for what their home never was.

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Key Character Profiles

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Changing Lives …

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is a 1982 novel by Anne Tyler, set in Baltimore, Maryland
The concept for the restaurant is that homesick people go there when they want food from home, when in reality Ezra is homesick for what their family used to be.
Anne Tyler's intended audience is struggling families.

Dinner At the Homesick Restaurant by Maddy Sayer on Prezi

Join Chef Archie Maclean at Catharina’s Restaurant for a wonderful Valentine’s Day Dinner
(pg 253)
Major Themes
Pearl Tull
Beck Tull
Cody Tull
Ezra Tull
Jenny Tull
Character Introductions
Motifs
Audience
Setting
What is significant about this book?
Quotes (ideas)
Quotes (craft)
Abandonment
Beck leaves the family
Pearl abandons being a stay at home mom and goes to work
Jenny feels abandoned when Cody moves out and Ezra joins the military
When Ezra falls in love with Ruth, she leaves him for his own brother Cody
Jenny is abandoned by two men
In the end, Beck leaves in the middle of family dinner
Abuse
Jenny was often abused by her mother Pearl
Cody would pick on and abuse Ezra because he was jealous that Pearl loved him most
Jenny was abusive to her daughter Becky similar to how Pearl treated her
Work over Family
Pearl and Beck both move around for his work instead of being with family
Beck abandons his family and moves elsewhere for work
Pearl starts working at the grocery store instead of staying home with her children
When Cody is an adult, he spends all of his time at work like his father did
Ezra never marries, but spends his life working at the Homesick Restaurant
Pearl is married to Beck, and she is the mother to Cody, Ezra and Jenny.

 

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Quotes by Anne Tyler

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler - Chapter 1-2 summary and analysis.
The difference is that every chapter the narrator knows the thoughts of a different character, Pearl, Cody, Ezra, or Jenny
Characters
Dinner At the
Homesick Restaurant
by Anne Tyler

Summary (or else none of this will make sense)
30 year old Pearl marries 24 year old handsome salesman Beck Tull.

Dining: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Significance of the title
Pearl's younger son, Ezra, goes on to own a comfort food restaurant that he calls The Homesick Restaurant.


Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
Submitted by Jean Trounstine ()

Title and Author: by Anne Tyler
Genre: Novel
Theme: Through Pearl Tull, her two sons, and her daughter, Tyler takes us into the notion of how families both wound and heal each other. Pearl Tull is on her deathbed when the book begins, and through her eyes, as well as through the eyes of her children, we come to understand why her husband left her, what kind of a mother she was, who her children are, and what ties they each had with Pearl. A great book to use to teach point of view - not in a literary sense, necessarily - but to discuss how events and relationships differ depending on who is telling the story.
Class type: Women

Judge Dever loves to tell a story about how one woman in our class said that Pearl Tull was a really witchy mother, and then with a straight face, the light bulb going off inside her head she said, "just like me." Inevitably, women will identify with Pearl or say that their mother is like Pearl. Some find her to be a mother they admire, while others actually hate her and feel she is responsible for all the problems that the children have. When Judge Dever points out that the kids are all "successful" by the world's standards, with decent jobs, the students still will open up about their perspectives:

"She's a strong woman facing hard times by herself." - Donna

"Married to Beck Tull, a perfectionist with a large ego and a man who felt his family was an albatross around his neck, she had to be strong-willed, but as strong as I found Pearl, she was not a fighter." - Michele

"Pearl had to bring the kids up alone and she knew she made a lot of mistakes and she was even cruel and distant." - Wendy."

Such comments take us into the nature of mothering, and for this reason, I often use this book early on in the semester. Although the chapter progression does need clarifying (because each chapter changes point of view, and that can be confusing to the students if it's not explained before they start reading the book), this is a great book to see who identifies with what character and to learn from each other about how we decide such things. It allows us to see different ways of looking at a character and what importance each places on his or her behaviors, leading us to our perspectives.

One of the women wrote the following when asked to tell what happened in this book:

"This book is about the ups and downs of the Tull family...Cody grew up with a drinking problem; Jenny cared and was close to everyone but her own family; Ezra was a dreamer and Pearl's favorite...I think the turning point was when before Pearl died, she told Ezra to invite everyone in the book, including Beck Tull, the father who left, to the funeral. It was quite a shock when Beck showed up. When Beck poured out his side of the story to Cody, they learned he felt that Pearl drove him away but that he secretly watched him from across the street and knew the kids would be all right."

There are a variety of comments about each character during class discussion, and the conflicting opinions make for a great, and sometimes a heated, conversation. Some of the women hate Cody. Some love him. He's handsome. He's money hungry. He's insecure. He's a mean son of a bitch. He's the most wounded of all the children. He's a survivor. They have the same variety of opinions about Ezra and Jenny. The richness in Tyler's writing and her ability to show us full human beings helps this book remain a classic in my class.

Suggested questions:

1. What does the book teach us about home? About families?
2. What's the importance of family dinners to the book? Of food and nourishment? How are different characters nourished or hungry?
3. How are each of the characters wounded? How are they healed?
4. Look at all the houses in the book and discuss them and their differences. What do they tell us about the people who live in each? The Baltimore house, Cody's farm, Jenny's house, Ezra's restaurant?
5. Sick for home? Sick of home?
6. Discuss this quote from , "The most aching nostalgia is not for home but for home idealized." What is nostalgia?
7. What is the importance of the archery accident to each of the characters? How do they each see it?
8. Will Beck stay for dinner at the end of the book?

Videos (may take a few moments):

Judge Dever ()