Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Review -- The Member of the Wedding

The Member of the Wedding
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
My enjoyment rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 3
Source:  Library copy
Genre: General fiction
Objectionable material: None

Frankie Addams is bummed. Her older brother is getting married and moving away. Now she will be stuck at home with her dad and housekeeper with no chance of leaving her small town Georgia home.

Why oh why won’t the newlyweds take her with them?

Carson McCullers brief but powerful novel expertly examines the mindset of a precocious 12 year old girl who is dealing with tremendous loneliness and trying to find her way in the world, all the while thinking she’s more mature than she really is.

This was an interesting novel. It was difficult to read initially because first: it was written almost entirely without chapters (drove me crazy!) and second: it took place almost entirely around the kitchen table between 3 characters, Frankie (aka F Jasmine or Francine), housekeeper, Berenice, and cousin, John Henry (which is why a stage adaptation would be brilliant).

Frankie was crazy. Really. What 12 year old isn’t? And I’m an expert – I am a mother of a 12 year old girl who acts just like Frankie. One minute she was playing – the next she was angry – the next she was threatening to run away from home – the next she was trying to hijack her brother’s honeymoon.

This is the type of book one needs to read in an English Lit class because the author obviously crafted a brilliant novel – but one I need explained to me. It wasn’t until the end that it occurred to me – oh – that might have been really good.

It also is a novel that requires a tremendous amount of patience.

But if you are a mom of a 12 year old girl – it was peaceful confirmation to learn that 12 year old girls in the 1940s were just as crazy as modern day 12 year olds – just without electronics.