People were not what they seemed and certainly not what they said.
Madness was contagious.
Memory served melancholy.
There could be virtue in satirizing virtue.
No one loved a loser until he completely lost."
I loved this book. Finished it on the way back from our Xmas vacation and dog-eared many pages that stuck out in my mind. This is a year in the life of Tassie Keltjin, a quirky twenty year old Midwestern daughter of a boutique potato farmer, who has moved to a university town as a college student. She becomes the nanny to a 'glamorous' (in her view) couple who have adopted a 2 yr. old biracial girl, learning to adore this baby and trying to understand the eccentric mother and father. Helping to raise the little girl provides all kinds of interesting material on race in America. For example, on learning that Tassie has taught the toddler the song "I've Been Working on the Railroad", Sarah (the mother) distastefully announces that there will be no more singing those lyrics on account of its use of poor grammar and hints at slave labor. Lorrie Moore throws in several other interesting characters along the way...Tassie's younger brother, lost and pondering the possibility of signing up for the army (did I mention this takes place right after 9-11?), Tassie's parents, her new love. But not everything is as 'clean' as it seems. There were twists, turns, shockers and what surprised me the most was how I could be humorously snickering at one part and reading with a huge lump in my throat at another. Ultimately, this is the story of a young woman's lessons on the bizarre behavior of seemingly normal people. Lorrie Moore's wit combined with tragedy blind-sided me every step of the way.