Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

By Anne Tyler

Maggie and Ira Moran were married for twenty-eight years–and it exhibits: of their quarrels, of their workouts, of their skill to tolerate with affection each one other’s eccentricities. Maggie, a kooky, cute meddler and an irrepressible optimist, desires not anything greater than to mend her son’s damaged marriage. Ira is infuriatingly functional, a guy “who must have married Ann Landers.” And what starts as an afternoon journey to a funeral turns into an event within the unforeseen. As Maggie and Ira navigate the riotous twists and turns, they intersect with an diverse forged of eccentrics–and rediscover the magic of the line known as existence and the enjoyment of getting someone subsequent to you to proportion the journey . . . bumps and all.

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Que desalinho que vai nesta casa! Esqueci-me de vos vir levantar e entretiveram-se a jogar o soco com as almofadas. Olhem para isto! Isto era um quadro encaixilhado, representando uma fonte com dois pombos a beber na bica cristalina, que pendia da parede, de cabeça para baixo. Os pequenos, encostados um ao outro, com as mãos comprometidamente escondidas atrás das costas, olhavam de revés para o gesticular de Benedita, que diligenciava repor o quadro no seu lugar justo e equilibrado. A rapariga, com o lábio inferior tremente do choro prestes a rebentar, encostava-se ao irmão, que franzia as sobrancelhas finas e castanhas.

A rapariga, com o lábio inferior tremente do choro prestes a rebentar, encostava-se ao irmão, que franzia as sobrancelhas finas e castanhas. Benedita voltou-se para ele e disse, tentando manter o tom zangado da voz: - Que a menina, que é tão pequenina, goste de brincar, vá, mas que o menino Dionísio, um homenzinho, faça este arraial, é que não é bonito. O que diria a mãezinha se os visse assim? Enquanto falava, ia pensando que a patroa não se zangaria tanto quanto ela dizia, se visse a brincadeira dos filhos.

O dia afundava-se por detrás da linha das serras do poente, que se erguiam como a guarda dum poço imenso. Maria Leonor subira ao quarto a fim de preparar-se para a consoada. Não acendeu a luz. A última claridade diurna entrava ainda numa penumbra fugidia, que ia desaparecendo aos poucos. Depois de se vestir, abriu a janela e encostou-se ao parapeito. De baixo vinha o rumor alegre da criadagem na cozinha. Ouvia os pratos tilintarem, o bater compassado das facas nos tabuleiros cortando as largas fatias de carne de porco, que iam para o lume em frigideiras imensas.

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