BrothersJudd.com
Loading

Home | Reviews | Blog | Daily | Glossary | Orrin's Stuff | Email

Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!
Download and Listen to any Audiobook for only $7.49. Save 50% for 3 months on over 100,000 Titles.

Ordinary People ()


Mr. Doggett's Suggested Summer Reading for Students

It came as no surprise to find this fine novel on Mr. Doggett's List.  What was disconcerting was to realize that the book is nearly 25 years old now and that we saw Robert Redford's Oscar winning movie adaptation nearly twenty years ago (1980).  It was one of the most deeply affecting pictures I've ever seen; I graphically recall sitting in a local tavern with Joe & Wingnut afterwards and discussing our own families and the issues that the movies made us confront.

Ms Guest tells the story, which the movie faithfully followed, of an upper middle class family in suburban Chicago.  Calvin Jarrett is a successful tax attorney and his wife Beth is the queen of the country club crowd, but their son Conrad has just returned home from a sanitarium after slashing his wrists following the death of his beloved older brother.  As Conrad tries to readjust to school, friends, a new psychiatrist and most of all his parents, he plumbs deeper into the depths of his own soul and comes to some startling realizations about himself and his family.  At the same time, his father begins to realize that there are terrifying depths lurking beneath the seemingly successful surface of his marriage.

The book continually prompts the shock of recognition as we discern character traits and even scenes out of our own lives and we come to see that the Jarretts are truly "Ordinary People".  The extraordinary tragedy in their lives has merely revealed fault lines that lie beneath many of our own lives.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (A+)

  

Comments:

As I read this book I came to the conclusion that life is not as simple as it seems. Everyone comes to a time in their life that will never be easy. Judith Guest explores the life of a teenager and an adult which helps the reader realize that life is hard no matter what age you are. Guest knows how to engage the reader in what she has written and always has a real life meaning behind it.

- Dave

- Apr-25-2003, 12:42

*******************************************************