Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road

by Richard Yates

Debbie Weiss: Frank and April Wheeler are a young couple who, like many couples in the 1950's, moved out the suburbs because that is where you moved when you were ready to start a family. On the surface, they seem like the perfect couple, but things are never as they seem... They both look down on all their suburbanite neighbors as being boring and uncultured. They have two children, but you never get the impression that they are all too happy about having the children. Frank works a boring job in the city and April is a stay-at-home mom, who always dreamed of becoming an actress.

April seems the most unhappy of the two. She is a cold, unfeeling person and seems to enjoy starting fights with her husband for really silly reasons. She eventually decides that the problem with their marriage is that they are leading a life that is too conventional and that they should give everything up and move permananently to France. The "plan" appears to bring them closer together with the enticement of a new start in a new land. However, when a particular event occurs and they decide that they are unable to pursue their overseas dream, their life together really falls apart quickly.

I had trouble getting into the book initially and I even had to stop and re-start it again at a later date, but once I got into it I did enjoy it. The book captures the feelings that I imagine many young couples experience --- perhaps without wanting to admit the frustrations of suburban life to others.
Rating: ***

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