This is a sentence from the third chapter of the novel ちびまる子ちゃん1 (page 107):

まる子は、一度は止めた足をまた進め始めた。もう振り返らなかった。一目散に家を目指した。 こんなときに限って家に帰ってみるとなかったりするのだ。案の定、計画表はどこにも見当たらず、まる子は泣きながらまた学校まで走るのであった。

I cannot understand what the highlighted part is trying to say。The meaning of 限る I got from Jisho ("to restrict" ou "to be restricted to") does not seem to make sense here. Nor does the "trying to return" that follows it. And then you have "となかったりするのだ": why is the author using たり here?

What is the author trying to say?

1 Answer 1



Of all times, it's when you're in such a situation that you can't find it after (trying) getting back home.
→ Especially at times like this, it often happens that you return home to find nothing.

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