Friday, December 21, 2007
Wisteria all over the place
Digging this book. Although, I have to say it makes me slightly uncomfortable, as it is suggesting such subversion in a nook of the world that up to this point, I have felt fairly comfortable in.
Perrotta looks at the lives of suburban mothers and fathers (they are, indeed the "children" his is referring to in his title, I believe) and peels back the "happy happy!" image we all strive to put forth. Think Desperate Housewives and American Beauty (he even gives this film a shout out in the first few pages), in writing.
One of the more interesting questions it's posing to me right now (140 pgs in), is HOW we get to this place. Who we were before marriage and children is, sometimes, so vastly different from who we become once we give ourselves over to these institutions that you can, he seems to be saying, lose track of who you really are in the shuffle of daily life.
I like to think that's not the case with my own family and those with whom I am close. Having become a stay at home mom in the past couple of years, I have definitely seen the women he writes about in the first few pages: the judgey schedule-nazi moms who always looks perfect (at least their own perception of perfection) and I have been the character Sarah (how fitting), who forgets to pack a snack for the play date (or a diaper--gasp!) and has to rely on the kindness of other moms to step up for me. I will say, my kinship with Sarah pretty much ends at that point--the clumsy, flustered anti-supermom.
I am curious to see what becomes of these "little children" and how they play out the little games they have going on now, consisting of what I think is going to end up being a fairly torrid affair, the stalking and harrassing of an ex-con, and some fairly kinky internet fetishism. This book is a much wilder ride, but just as thought-provoking as the last one I read.