I am unsettled.
I have a handful of authors who, in my opinion, can do no wrong. It's their names I rattle off when people ask who my favourites are. They are my top people. And being a bookish librarian, that says a lot.
Anne Tyler has topped my list of favourite authors ever since I read Patchwork Planet a decade ago.
As John Updike describes, she "gives the mundane its beautiful due". Her work has been described as 'domestic realism' - she writes about people grappling the stuff of ordinary life, and she captures the nuances and quirks of that everyday life in such a way that we see it afresh. Her work always carries an edge of melancholy; yet her amused tone makes us smile as we read, detached and charmed, taking nothing to heart.
So, when I finally had her new book, The Beginner's Goodbye, in my clutches last month, I quickly made up an excuse to spend the afternoon curled up reading. It's a slow-moving tale of a man grappling with grief, and finding his way back to equilibrium and happiness, after his wife dies in a freak accident.
When I emerged, book finished, I felt a bit let down. It's just a bit sad really - flat, like the melancholia took over, and left little room for a redemptive tale to emerge.
But I still love her. I'm loyal like that. However, when I next name her in my top five, there may be a disclaimer.