Thursday, December 11, 2008

Me, A New York Book Club and Revolutionary Road

Can Love Survive? (the article)

I met Liza the first week of school, freshman year of high school. I decided we would be friends, and then we were. Although she only stayed in Miami for one school year, we've managed to drag this friendship, long-distance, through fifteen years and running. I recently organized her bachelorette party in New Paltz, NY, dragging five of her closest from their NYC apartments to the countryside for some good, clean fun. It was there that I met Shana, Jen, Kelsey and Emily. I already knew her sister Sarah. 
One of our first conversations involved Shana's book club. She wanted to know if I had any suggestions, and of course, I had many. I had to push my favorite book, though, Revolutionary Road. Two years earlier, I forced my mother, father and brother to read it, and they loved it- this was almost unprecedented but for Me Talk Pretty One Day. Then I strong-armed my mom to make her upscale book club read it, and they hated it. After I heard that, I didn't understand why she returned to the meetings, as clearly they had little taste.
Anyway, it was because of my insistence and Shana's wisdom that they read Revolutionary Road and thus were featured in an article for the New York Observer. Jen's friend wrote the article, and some of the others are mentioned. 
Personally, I am nervous about this fantastically insightful, honest and amusing book being developed into a film, but I suppose I just not watch it. It's funny, because I first read the book because I liked one of Yates' short stories and then I loved Rev. Road. I had heard his other books were inferior, but I read The Easter Parade anyway, and I seriously blame it for sending me into a downward spiral of severe depression and suicidal thoughts, culminating in a move home to Miami. Anyway. He's a genius. I love this book more than life itself. Here's the part of the article about my bff Liza and my homegirls & co. I don't believe I know the people who didn't enjoy the book, at least I'll assume that I don't! Glad you guys got press!

Last weekend, in a tastefully decorated garden apartment in Brooklyn Heights, a group of seven attractive and well-educated women met for their monthly book club to discussRevolutionary Road. Their ages ranged from late 20s to mid-30s, a little more than half were married, and almost all of them were lawyers. The hostess had gotten into the ’50s swing of the book and served accordingly: crust-less egg-and-cucumber sandwiches, salmon and crème fraiche bites, gherkins and a glass dish of pickles and, of course, plenty of wine. A discussion of the recession and fear of losing jobs—much like the one taking place at any point anywhere in the city—dominated the first half-hour. Then they delved into Revolutionary Road. Most seemed to like it. A couple said they couldn’t read it without seeing Ms. Winslet and Mr. DiCaprio in their heads. One woman finally leaned forward and said, “Is it O.K. that I didn’t like it? Is that bad?” No, no, no, she was quickly assured. “I’m just so over the whole suburban-bashing thing,” she said. “I didn’t feel sorry for them. What’s the fucking point? Buy a train ticket and go into the city if you’re sick of being stuck at home. Stop complaining.”
“I don’t know,” said another, a mother of two children living in Scarsdale. “I kind of felt like this is so my life.” All of the married women seemed to relate to the rawness of Frank and April Wheeler’s fights. “I’ve never fought like that,” one (lucky) woman said. “I have,” four voices replied in unison. “I don’t know,” the hostess said. “It comes down to accepting what your life is. It’s about being an adult. Life is not what you thought it would be at 19. Suck it up,” she said.
“But isn’t that depressing?” asked the woman beside her.

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