The Hazards of Good Breeding

Friday, September 25, 2009

I had a boring day today where the most interesting thing that happened to me was making salad dressing, so let's just skip past the whole how-my-day-went portion of today's blog post and get right to talking about the book.

Today's book, "Caroline Dunlap has graduated college and returned to her father's house in the genteel upper-class world of suburban Boston for lack of a better option. Her sensitive, 10-year-old brother, Eliot, is quietly launching a search for his baby-sitter, Rosita, who his father, Jack, summarily fired six months ago. Faith, Jack's ex-wife, who is still in the process of recovering from the nervous breakdown that precipitated the end of her marriage, is in town to see a play Eliot is starring in and visit some friends. The characters are all stuck in a sense, in need of a push to disrupt their apathy."

Shallow thoughts:

  • Today's book was really good for the first 50 or 60 pages, and then it got kind of boring from there. But I have often wondered throughout this year of blogging if the books that slide down hill are really bad or if it's just me hitting a wall. Reading a book a day is difficult - not even so much from the perspective of being able to actually get the book read - but more in terms of being able to move past the resistance to reading the whole book all at once. Sometimes it would be nice to be able to take a break and come back the next day with fresh eyes - which is something that I'm looking forward to doing next year. I've also had times when I have hit a wall with not wanting to read the book at all. The resistance sometimes last for a few days or even a week, and I start to panic - because I'm the kind of person who panics if the mail is late - and I become convinced that I will never want to read again. But then a few days goes by and I get back to that place where I am really excited about reading again. I'm looking forward to finding out what will happen next year when I can have a break every now and then.

  • What kept me reading, despite the boredom I was starting to feel, was that the book kept referring to the two oldest kids as "the twins" and wouldn't tell what their names were. This always drives me insane - although I have no idea why. If you are odd like me, and you simply can't sleep at night if you don't know what people's kids are names (real or fictional) then skip to page 142 and end the suspense.

  • Reading this book made me want to watch an old movie. That's not really an impressive distinction since waking up in the morning makes me want to watch an old movie. Nevertheless, this book provided some additional motivation because one of the characters was named Rock, which naturally led to thoughts of Rock Hudson, which led me to Doris Day, which made me think about that movie she was in called The Thrill of it All, which I believe I'm going to have to watch now - there's just no way around it.