Thursday, June 17, 2010

Judith Guest - Ordinary People

38. Ordinary People by Judith Guest (1976)
Length: 263 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 16 June 2010
Finished: 17 June 2010
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 March 2010
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

The Jarrets are just a typical American family. Forty-one year old Cal is the loving husband and father - a determined, successful provider for himself and his family. Thirty-nine year old Beth cherishes her husband and family; organized and efficient, Beth is the backbone of the family. Cal and Beth have two wonderful sons: Eighteen-year-old Jordan - nicknamed Buck - is an extrovert and the perpetual risk-taker in the family. Seventeen-year-old Conrad is the introvert of the family; he is more focused on his future - highly studious, yet extremely shy and reserved.

To all their friends and acquaintances, the Jarrett family is the epitome of perfection. Cal and Beth have a marriage to envy, they are living the type of life that all their friends aspire to lead as well. Buck and Conrad are the type of sons that any parent would be proud to have; two fine, upstanding young men who each have such a bright, promising future ahead of them. Then, tragedy strikes...

When Buck drowns in a boating accident, Cal, Beth and Conrad are left utterly devastated. Cal and Beth's combined grief threatens to overwhelm them both, and Conrad's own feelings of grief and guilt over his older brother's death are practically immeasurable. His growing misperception of his inability to save Buck's life, leads Conrad to do something desperate and suicidal. Ultimately, will the Jarretts be able to grieve the loss of their eldest son, help their younger son cope with his guilt, and heal their own relationship?

I must say that I absolutely loved reading this book. I found that this was a poignant and well-written story; an intriguing look at the dynamics of a grieving family. This is a moving and memorable portrait of each family member's personal, emotional and intensely private journey toward healing and acceptance. I would give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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