I haven’t posted much because I’ve been reading! Whenever I’m feeling low or uninspired I turn to books. These are two of my absolute favourites ! Enjoy 🙂
The Easter Parade:
I discovered Richard Yates all by myself when I stumbled upon The Easter Parade on a lonely bookshelf at our library. It was one of those serendipitous moments when you just *know* it’s going to be great and possibly life changing. What struck me the most was the cover. The worn dresses and tatty shoes spoke volumes about the lives of the sisters therein and when I read the first line ,well, I was hooked. “Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life , and looking back it always seemed the trouble began with their parents’ divorce” Despite the bleak narrative I kept hoping that since this is a book after all, maybe there’s some sort of happy ending. There isn’t . Sarah and Emily Grimes are sisters who are both disappointed by the choices they’ve made in their lives. Sarah – beautiful and conventional marries and bears children with a man who beats and abuses her emotionally. Emily- independent , free spirited and intellectual has a series of disappointing love affairs with unsuitable men. It begins in the ’30’s when they are children and goes all the way to the 70’s with Sarah’s death. It mainly revolves around Emily as the main character. It’s a savage and bleak look at sibling rivalry and children growing up with an “unhealthy” divorce and a terrible mother. And how fathers really influence girls.
We first meet April and Frank at the tattered end of their marriage when they are exhausted by work , children and their own unfulfilled dreams. They are have that shell shocked how-did-we-get -here look and wearing their disappointment very heavily. Before they moved to Revolutionary Road they were living in that rarefied air of smugness that newly loved up and newly married people have. They can’t believe that they are actually moving to suburbia! They’ve always been above it all : they are special and different they live their lives according to a higher purpose. How wrong they are! Soon the children , bills , nosey neighbours and forced smiles bring it all crashing down. The lies they tell themselves so that they keep up the facade of happily married is devastating and leads to affairs and a tragedy. Nobody writes about disillusionment and disappointment quite like Yates. It’s searing and cuts you deep and it’s very rewarding. Read them! Later!