Anne Tyler's fourteenth novel presents Barnaby Gaitlin, the latest of her quirky characters trying to cope with a less-than-perfect life. Barnaby has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He had this habit of breaking into other people's houses, not so much to steal things, but because he liked to read other people's mail and pore over their photo albums. But for eleven years now, he's been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, renting his back to people who can't move thier own porch furniture or bring the Christmas tree down from the attic. Still, when the chips are down, he learns that his family and friends really don't trust him, and his world falls apart.
A Patchwork Planet