I’ve wanted to read this one for awhile, and I cannot remember why. It may have been the Oprah Book Club sticker (though not present on the one I got from the library so I must have seen it somewhere else) or that it was made into a movie and perhaps I wanted to watch it? Regardless, I finally got around to reading it, after having checked it out of the library twice.
I am ashamed to admit this, but it took me over 2 weeks to read this sucker. It was slow getting into it, which I’ve experienced with all other Oates books I’ve read. But yesterday, I flew through the remaining 200 plus pages I had. It is seriously a train wreck and you can’t step away.
The book is about Michael Mulvaney Sr., his wife, Corinne, children, Mikey-Jr., Patrick, Marianne and Judd. They are pretty much an All-American gag me with a spoon family until an incident happens with Marianne that made me want to poke some peoples eyeballs and yell at 1970s America. Pretty much after this event the whole family falls apart. Tragic, yet realistic.
It’s quite sad to watch the demise unfold and while you want to yell, “Don’t fall for the cliché!” It happens. The ones that fell the hardest and farthest eventually lose your sympathy. However, it was a train wreck I enjoyed. I had to remember that I sometimes skip some of Oates description-y parts and move towards the details. But it was worth the read.