Good or just lucky?

By Anne Tyler, A Patchwork Planet. (Knopf, 24 pp.)

Isn’t it possible, maybe, that good people are just luckier people? Couldn’t that be the explanation?” This thought belongs to Barnaby Gaitlin, a 29-year-old divorced father whose nine-year-old daughter doesn’t care much about seeing him, whose juvenile delinquent past keeps him from accomplishing much, and whose current fascination with a golden-haired woman he sees in the Baltimore train station stems from his family’s conviction that each Gaitlin will be assisted in life by an angel.


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