by Richard Yates
I am going to be honest with you, I am getting tired of summarizing the books I read
Number 1, I have been reading too fast to keep up with the blog
Number 2, I don't always have a lot to say because it's like having a conversation with myself and it's NOT LIKE I am going to disagree with myself!
Anyway, I first learned about this novel when I went to hear David Sedaris read his essays at GWU a year or two ago, and at the end of his performance, he picked up this book and read the first page to us, or maybe it was the first paragraph. I don't specifically remember why he did that. Probably as a recommendation. So it has been on my list. A month ago I bought a copy at a used book sale and finally realized that it was written by the same author as Revolutionary Road.
The book follows the lives of two sisters -- one marries and has a family early, while the other doesn't quite settle down as easily. It's a melancholy book. Bleak is definitely a good word to describe it. Do you agree? Yes, I agree.
Here is the opening paragraph:
Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life, and looking back it always seemed that the trouble began with their parents' divorce. That happened in 1930, when Sarah was nine years old and Emily five. Their mother, who encouraged both girls to call her "Pookie," took them out of New York to a rented house in Tenafly, New Jersey, where she thought the schools would be better and where she hoped to launch a career in suburban real estate. It didn't work out -- very few of her plans for independence ever did -- and they left Tenafly after two years, but it was a memorable time for the girls.
4 out of 5