Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant By Anne Taylor Book Review
In the novel Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Anne Taylor includes the dream of Cody and Pearl Tull in order to display how they have been affected by abandonment and betrayal.
For example, Cody Tull once dreamt about his father coming back home which reveals that he wants him to come home after abandoning him and his family even though he denies it. When Cody was still a young boy, he sometimes dreamt about his father and that “he would [step] through the doorway, wearing one of those salesman suits, bringing the afternoon paper as he always did on Fridays” (47). In those dreams, Cody would appear as a younger self and have “slid backward and became a toddler again” (47). This made Cody want to see his father in the present and tell him all about “...what [he had] accomplished…[and] how far [he’d] come without [his father]”(47). Cody remembers his father’s looks when he came home from work and ‘his thick strings of hair and the tired, yellowish puffs beneath his eyes”(47). In these dreams, Cody is a very annoying and foolish child seeing that he had trouble managing and understanding his surroundings (47). Cody has mixed emotions when he dreams about his father. At first, he is happy to have a put-together family, then he feels betrayed by his father since he abandoned the family. Cody’s dreams about his father are clear signs that he wants his father to return to the family and make it whole again. Cody also does not know what he would say to his father if he did ever see him again. When his father left, Cody felt betrayed because he is now the man of the house. He also feels abandoned because his father just left without a word and his mother did nothing to explain it either. In comparison, Pearl Tull dreamt about a time when her children were younger they were running towards her on the beach and relied on her which exposes the fact that Pearl feels betrayed by her children because they don’t need her anymore (34). Just like Cody, Pearl feels a sense of betrayal since her children no longer need her and she is just another person in the children’s lives. The correspondence between Pearl and Cody’s dreams highlight how they have both been affected by abandonment and betrayal from their family.
It is also notable that both Pearl and Cody have been affected by betrayal and abandonment even though they both deny it. Pearl denies being affected by abandonment when she yells "Parasites. I wish you'd all die, and let me go free." (53) at her children. She continues to yell “ I wish I'd find you dead in your beds” (53) and ends up smashing a bowl of peas over the children’s head (53). This goes to show that Pearl denies the fact that she has been affected by abandonment but she is in fact the reason they lean away from her. Pearl wants her children to remain close with her but she keeps pushing them away. Pearl never realizes that she is the reason for herm children’s absence in her life until they are all grown and gone. She has a dream about her children once needing her (34) but that is once they were older. Once Pearl’s children had grown up and left home, she finally realizes that she didn’t want them to ever leave. She then feels abandoned and all by herself. In comparison, Cody, even after having multiple dreams about his father coming home (47), denies the fact that he too has been affected by abandonment. Both Pearl and Cody deny that their lives have deeply affected their past abandonment as either a wife or as a very young child.