Inspired by Claire's post about the Vintage Classics editions of Richard Yates' books I went out searching for one. I fully confess to seeking out the books based only on their glorious vintage/retro covers - truly shallow I know but at least I am being honest! I have been tempted to see the movie of Yates' Revolutionary Road (mainly for the gorgeous and talented Kate Winslet) but I have heard so many scary stories about the movie being quite "dark and depressing" that I have stayed away from the movie version and the book.
The book store I visited yesterday only had a couple of the Vintage Classic editions so I ended up buying The Easter Parade - first published in 1976.
From the opening lines of the book I was hooked;
"Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life, and looking back it always seemed that the trouble began with their parents' divorce. That happened in 1930, when Sarah was nine years old and Emily five"
From the very outset you certainly have a clear picture that this book is not going to be a happily ever after kind of book - and yet I loved it. It felt honest and raw and sharp - you were in this story for better or for worse.
The book covers the lives of the Grimes sisters from the time of their parents' divorce until they are middle aged women - each with very different life experiences and outlooks. The book is told from the perspective of the younger sister, Emily, and it is told with brutal honesty for the most part even though you sense, at times, that Emily really doesn't have a lot of insight into her life.
I absolutely devoured this book and I will be looking out for all of Yates' other work - starting with Revolutionary Road.