Redhead by the Side of the Road is the latest book by Anne Tyler. This novella-length story is about Micah Mortimer, who is janitor for the residents of his building, and a freelance computer technician, Tech Hermit. His life is very ordered and organized; I would say he has Asperger’s or something similar. Set in Baltimore, as all Anne Tyler’s novels are, Micah’s quiet life goes off-course, when the son of a former girlfriend turns up at his door thinking Micah might be his real father.
He is not, but tries to help and gives Brink a bed for the night. His lady friend, Cass, is facing eviction, but is upset when Micah does not offer her somewhere to stay; she breaks up with him.
Their relationship had seemed to be built on habit rather than passion, but Micah only appreciates what he had when it is too late. The book ends a bit abruptly, but perhaps Anne Tyler was leaving it to the reader to decide what happens next.
This character-driven narrative is about the minutiae of everyday life, and what it is to be human. It is not Anne Tyler’s best novel (my favourite is The Accidental Tourist), but it is still a joy to read.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.