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Book Review: Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin

AuthorArmistead Maupin
TitleMary Ann in Autumn
Narrator: Armistead Maupin
Publication Info: Harper Audio, 2010
ISBN: 9780062007131
Summary/Review:

As a long-time fan of the Tales of the City series, I was surprised that there are not one but two new books in the series I’d missed out on.  This volume follows-up on the first-person narrated Michael Tolliver Lives, but resumes the interlocked stories of several characters told from a third-person omniscient narrator like the original six novels.  The other return to form is the appearance of Mary Ann Singleton, who was the central character of the serialized stories of the 1970s and 1980s.  Mary Ann’s characterization in recent stories has not been flattering in the least, but here she returns to San Francisco for the support of her friend Michael, having left her wealthy husband and learned she has cancer.  In addition, to Mary Ann and Michael, there are stories about Michael’s husband Ben, Michael’s friend/employee Jake, Mary Ann’s estranged daughter Shawna, and the always lovely Anna Madrigal, the landlady from the earlier stories.  There’s even a surprise return of a storyline from the earliest Tales of the City stories.  Themes of the novel include aging, mortality, and second chances.  A nice addition to the series.

Rating: ***1/2

Beer Review: Ithaca Dark Vine

Beer:  Dark Vine
Brewer:Ithaca Beer Company
Source: Draft
Rating: ***(7.6 of 10)
Comments: A dark brown/black beer with a finger-width of mocha-colored foam.  The smell is a sweet caramel with fruity scents.  The flavor is bold with hoppiness and a roasted, burnt sugar flavor.  At 9.50% ABV, Dark Vine packs an alcoholic punch.

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