Amy's Reviews > July, July

July, July by Tim O'Brien
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Apr 24, 10

Read from April 21 to 24, 2010

Tim O'Brien is a storyteller and this book showcases his ability in a different way than Going After Cacciato or The Things They Carried. He follows a cohort, the class of '69 from Darton Hall (clearly a remake of his Alma Mater, Macalester). We are granted the unique perspective of knowing their past, present and everything in between; we watch them play Monday Morning Quarterback, lamenting their lives and the choices they've made and what they've become. For some, the reunion is a chance to mend life just a little bit and for others, it solidifies that the path of least resistance is all they will ever follow despite how glorious grandiose dreams of change may appear.
And of course, being a native of the Twin Cities, I feel a stronger connection with the story and the places referenced. Although not necessary information, I always love feeling privy to this knowledge (of course that unhappy, mother of two going through the motions would live in xxxx suburb!)
I will say that although the story is rife with emotion and true characters (how is he is able to beautifully develop stories of so many characters in so few pages? Talent, I guess) I am left with an unsettling feeling after reading the book. Depressing I can handle, I like depressing, but his view of marriage is quite low and although I realize no marriage is perfect, I am always a bit bothered by books that don't showcase a single successful marriage. Sure, life is hard, marriage can be hard, but surely even in real life some of us are happy with our spouses.
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