Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
The Bedloes in Saint Maybe are a typical Anne Tyler family: parents Doug and Bee, their married daughter Claudia, and their sons Danny (the “golden boy” ex-jock) and Ian (the typical high school senior). Neighbors consider them an all-American family, but the Bedloes do not really communicate; thus, they remain detached from each other. Just as their holiday meals are a collection of hors d’oeuvres, the family remains a group of individuals whose links to each other are little more intimate than the family’s links to the ever-changing groups of neighborhood exchange students who temporarily share their lives.
As the novel opens, Danny Bedloe introduces his family to Lucy, “the woman who’s changed my life”; the novel concludes, more than twenty years later, as Ian Bedloe introduces his family to his infant son, Joshua, and contemplates that life-changing introductions actually are everyday occurrences. For Ian, most of these life changes result from what he considers his responsibility for the deaths of Danny and Lucy. After Ian accuses Lucy of marital infidelity, Danny drives into a wall, perhaps deliberately. Likewise, a few months later, when Lucy dies of a drug overdose, Ian again blames himself, though other members of the Bedloe family frustrate his redemption by insisting these deaths are accidents and thus denying him any role. Nevertheless, Ian feels an overpowering guilt.
Searching for atonement, Ian is drawn to...
(The entire section is 863 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Saint Maybe Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!