Anne Tyler was nothing like her mother, Pine Valley Grand Dame Phoebe
Tyler. Though Anne had loved her family, she had left for New York to
become a fashion designer. One day, she met another Pine Valley transplant,
Nick Davis, in search of his son Phil Brent. Soon, Anne was back in Pine
Valley, setting up a new store, The Boutique. In truth, her focus had
moved from her business, to Nick.
Anne saw something in Nick no one else did, including Phoebe. Phoebe had
forgotten about her own affiliation with Nick when she demanded Anne stop
seeing him. Anne had seen Nick become a compassionate man, worried about
his son’s welfare. Phoebe’s indignation for Nick only grew
when he ruined Chuck Tyler and Tara Martin’s wedding. Phoebe set
Anne up on a date with Paul Martin, another successful attorney. Though
they were compatible, Anne could not get Nick out of her mind.
1972: Anne went against Phoebe’s wishes and decided
to marry Nick. She stood by her husband when he learned that Phil had
died. Anne decided the best gift she could offer Nick was another son.
Nick and Anne were anxious to have children, but all attempts seemed futile.
Anne did not know if it was the grief over Phil’s death, or the
stress from their failed attempts to conceive that made Nick act differently.
Soon, Anne was coming home to an angry Nick every night. Anne wanted to
know if her husband was still in love with her. It got to the point where
Nick asked Anne for a divorce. Anne did not know where his sudden change
of heart was coming from, but knew she did not want to stay where she
was not wanted.
Anne hired Paul to be her divorce lawyer. The chemistry they once shared
was still there. Their long hours together pulled them closer than ever.
Alas, Anne was not ready to move on from Nick. Anne learned she was pregnant
with Nick’s child and felt conflicted as to whether or not she should
tell Nick. Paul offered to help Anne raise her child. The last thing Anne
wanted to do was burden anyone, especially Nick who had lost so much.
She agreed to Paul’s charade.
Anne married Paul in the presence of God, but not in the presence of mind.
She was still thinking of Nick, but knew Paul would stand by her. Even
after she miscarried, Paul stood by her side free of obligation. Nick
came to Anne after learning that he got Kitty Shea pregnant. Anne pushed
Nick away because she believed that Nick did not deserve to loose another
Paul and Anne only grew closer. There was something to say about his loyalty.
Anne found herself falling in love again. Nick called Anne to New York
after Kitty miscarried. Anne rushed to him, to the city where they met.
Nick told Anne she needed to make a choice: did she love him or Paul.
Anne could not believe how clear it all was. It was Paul whom she now
Driving home in a snowstorm, Nick and Anne got in an accident. Anne awoke
to the site of her mother and Paul by her bedside. Paul was relieved,
but cold. Before Anne could explain anything, Paul said they were getting
a divorce. Anne realized Paul had misconstrued Nick and her trip as an
affair. Anne’s mind went everywhere. She needed a break, and left
the hospital without anyone’s knowledge. She disappeared in the
snow, and out of Pine Valley.
Anne ran to be with her brother, Lincoln, in Seattle. When enough time
had passed, she made her way back to Pine Valley, intent on renewing her
marriage with Paul. Paul welcomed her with divorce papers. Margo Flax,
Paul’s new love interest, made it clear that Anne had destroyed
Paul the night of the accident. Anne was ridden with guilt. Though Phoebe
encouraged her to pursue him, Anne did not want to hurt Paul more. She
agreed to the divorce.
Nick turned to Anne, but she was not ready to accept him back in her life.
After all, it was his omission that caused Paul to reject her.
1975: Paul turned to Anne when his marriage to Margo
began to crumble. Their time together ignited their dormant flame. Both
knew they were doing something wrong when they started having an affair.
After a weekend between the sheets, Paul agreed to divorce Margo.
Paul and Anne came home to Margo who had good news: she was pregnant.
Anne wanted Paul to be a part of his child’s life. Plans for a divorce
were put on hold. A defeated Anne turned to Nick. She revealed that she
was so emotional because that morning, she had learned she was pregnant
with Paul's child too. Nick made the same offer Paul did years before:
to raise Anne’s child as his own. Anne did not want to go down that
road again, but knew that she may not have any other option.
Anne rejected Nick’s offer. She was either going to be with Paul,
or be alone. Nick broke his silence to Paul. Because of Nick's intervention,
Anne and Paul had a tearful reunion.
Margo, now divorced from Paul, tried to make it seem like there were no
hard feelings. She volunteered to help Anne do inventory one night at
The Boutique. After Margo left, Anne felt ill, and fainted. Paul came
to her rescue. Margo had turned on the furnace to poison Anne with carbon
Anne and Paul remarried. In their honeymoon to St. Croix, Anne contracted
toxoplasmosis, putting her unborn daughter in harm’s way. Dr. Chris
Karras made it clear that the child was going to be born severely handicapped.
She suggested a therapeutic abortion, to which Anne responded with a clear
rejection. She was not going to loose another child.
Beth Martin was born severely mentally handicapped. Paul wanted to be
cared for in an institution, but Anne would have none of that. She decided
she was going to care for Beth alone.
1977: Anne thought everyone was wrong about Beth. She
was determined to make her life the best it could possible be. Her first
course of action was to fire Chris who had given her such bad advice during
her pregnancy. Anne was to be Beth’s primary caregiver.
One night, Paul finally convinced Anne to attend a support group meeting
for parents of children with disabilities. Anne was restless the entire
meeting. She rushed home to see how Beth was doing. Beth was not breathing.
She had died unexpectedly of SIDS.
Anne sank into a deep depression. She cradled a photo of her dear daughter
as if she were still alive. Paul tried to make contact, but Anne was too
far removed. Phoebe and Paul were forced to institutionalize Anne at Oak
Anne’s psychosis had regressed her to a child-like state. She had
implicitly blocked out the latter years of her life so as to forget the
death of her daughter. It pained Phoebe to see her in such a state. Paul
announced that he was going to divorce Anne, giving up hope in her recovery.
Anne began to show signs of recovery. Phoebe was able to convince Paul
to hold off on the divorce.
Paul’s love pulled Anne through her ordeal. She had recovered enough
for her doctors to agree to allow her to move back home. But instead of
moving back into Paul’s home, Anne moved back in with her mother.
Slowly, Anne and Paul rebuilt their marriage.
1981: Anne and Paul reconciled. Paul had announced his
candidacy for public office. One day, Anne wanted to see her mother, but
her car was blocked in. She decided to use Paul’s car instead. Little
did Anne know, Paul’s competitors had planted a bomb inside. The
car exploded with Anne inside.