Saturday, September 8, 2007

Arlington Park

Title: Arlington Park
Author: Rachel Cusk
faber & faber, 2007 (2006)

This is a scary novel about wealthy suburbia. We meet four women who are extranged from their children, their boring husband's and their dreams; all through choices of their own. The knowledge that they have created their prisons themselves (which a few of them are more clear about than others) make them bitter and, at times, cruel.

To me, the topic is dated. I know that this is still not an uncommon way of living (i.e. well-off, well-educated women who end up as housewives due to tradition rather than choice), but it is so far from my horizon that it makes me think about Marilyn French's The Women's Room from the 1970s.

The strenth of this novel, because despite the topic it was still quite enjoyable, is Cusk's language and her ability to pin down the very essence of a feeling. Also, you might not perceive the characters as I did, because thery are not that clear-cut at all. They made me angry; they might make you commisserate with them, pity them, or even, sympathise with them.

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