1st Wednesday Book Group

 Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Everyone read the book and finished it. The husband Frank was throughly manipulative. The wife April was rather “flakey” and some readers found her very irritating.

The novel, written in 1961, and set in the mid 50’s, really typified the suburban lifestyle of the time – very regimented and very stifling.

The group felt that both main characters were deluded about reality and under great pressure to conform. The novel was beautifully written and touched a chord with the upbringing of many readers – “what will the neighbours think”.

Apirl and Frank felt they were better than others but the reality of their life together showed that they were actually conformists.

The novel opens with the presentation of the amateur play when April believes that she will shine as a dramatic star. The fact that she and the play flops sets the scene for their lives and marriage.

The character of John, when is his living in a mental health institution, was the most “real” of all the people explored.

The group believes the writer must have had personal experience of the home life depicted, and that perhaps the novel is semi autobiographical to some degree.

The book is an amazing first novel and highly recommended. It is extremely sharp and insightful. The writing is excellent.

One person feld that the book was about constructing – houses, lives and lifestyles. There was amazing detail about the manipulations taking place.