A notorious troublemaker in his adolescence, Barnaby Gaitlin has since reformed his ways to try and be a responsible adult--with dubious results. Long gone are the days of breaking and entering into people's homes and liberating them from some of their mementos. Barnaby now works as muscle-for-hire at Rent-a-Back, helping the elderly and infirm with their heavy-lifting needs. Yet for all his efforts, he still finds himself estranged from his wealthy, philanthropic family, his ex-wife, and his mouthy nine-year-old daughter, Opal. And even though he's unwittingly attracted the attentions of a woman who wants to save him from himself, not even she fully trusts Barnaby. With the chips down, can he still get his life together before it falls apart again?
In A Patchwork Planet, Anne Tyler chronicles the foibles and frailties of the human heart, and the sublime ridiculousness of the everyday with her renowned eye for humour and humanity.