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Word Count: 953
Love has the power to heal however the experiences of the Tull family in Anne Tylers Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant demonstrate the destruction and pain that individuals can also encounter as a result of this force The novels opening chapter focuses on Pearl Tull and the scars left by her failed marriage In an effort to disprove her relatives suggestions that she would be an old maid pg 4 she found herself almost running down the aisle with a man 6 years her junior At the time she felt reckless and dashing pg 5 but a few years down the track and 3 children later Pearl was a single mother with a part-time job and a depleting self-esteem After Beck left her Pearls determination perhaps even stubbornness willed her on amidst the emotional debris however things only got harder for the Tull family The destruction that love had left behind affected her children and their futures just as much as it had hers Jenny described her mother as a dangerous person -hot breathed and full of rage and unpredictable pg 71 and each of her childrens accounts reveal physical and emotional abuse to some extent Pearl was very conscious of the way her family was viewed by others and throughout her life strived to create the appearance of a happy family pg 9 By the time of her death she seemed to have accomplished this with all of her children having successful careers and even managing to convince their father of the happy family illusion However memories of a disturbing childhood would remain in the minds of her children forever -and all in the name of love Although all three children felt her stinging slap pg 71 on more than one occasion in their childhoods Ezra was the child with which she made the strongest connection He had always been the enduring uncomplaining sort pg 77 but he too came
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