May 07, 12
Read from May 04 to 07, 2012 — I own a copy
I keep saying this, but then I keep not following my own advice: I have to stop reading books about annoying teenagers. So Frankie, the main character, was annoying, though her troubles and her lack of ability to name her affliction is certainly one that I could understand and somewhat relate to.
McCullers really captures the unending, slow, suffocating summer in the South, where there isn't much to do but to sit around and play cards in the kitchen and talk about the same things over and over again. She also captures the indescribable urgency that Frankie feels when her brother's wedding is announced. Perhaps what McCullers does best is to name this thing a thousand different things as Frankie tries to explain it to herself and the people around her, family and strangers alike.
The book follows the pattern of Frankie's existence, starting off slow, purposeless, and idle and slowly picking up speed as Frankie feels the pressure to break free of the cage she find herself in. McCullers speaks the sensibility and frame of mind of the people in a small town during the war without explaining anything but by just letting them exist, do, and talk. Everything about the story and the characters feel organic and though there aren't any surprises, the book is ultimately heartbreaking.