CURRENT BOOK:  Them by Joyce Carol Oates


Now that we are THIS close to the big trip (as in, we will be in Dublin this time next week, although I will still be in my 30’s at that point), I have decided that I am never again traveling anywhere, especially with my husband, where we have to do more than drive over for the weekend.

Granted, I am having a horrible week at work since they don’t have anyone to cover for me and I need to stay over and clear off my desk every day so I don’t wind up in an even worse jam last thing on Friday which of course is the worst possible time.  This ALWAYS happens when I try to go out of town, to the point that it is not even worth trying to take  a day off.  It is supposed to be in the mid 70’s and sunny on Saturday and I am planning to go to the free music festival in the French Quarter and have a late lunch in a French Quarter courtyard.  Unfortunately the completely adorable jumpsuit I ordered as a splurge with my anticipated overtime money is not going to come in time to wear for the festival, but I’ll figure something out.  Not to mention I had to work through lunch and stay an hour over yesterday, not for overtime, but just to make up time from a dentist appointment which of course was entirely unpleasant.  And I have extra freelance work this month too, something that will only be fun in about two or three months when I get paid for it.

And I don’t think my husband has been having an easy time at work lately either, since he has had to assume a few projects for a co-worker who is on maternity leave.  He has tried to be supportive and even offered to do all the cleaning for me before we leave, while I work, he hasn’t been 100 percent and his fuse has been about as short as mine.  And while he did do some cleaning on Sunday he has been easily distracted since then.

So I’m not planning on doing any more big traveling anytime soon.

As far as the creatively acquired Them, I was able to finish it just as my co-worker received a nagging little e-mail from the library reminding her it was due in two days.  (Her library gives you two weeks with four renewals.  Mine gives you three weeks with two renewals.  Go figure.)  It wasn’t the worst thing on The List, but as the co-worker and I discussed, Oates is not the type of author who would appeal to everyone.  I felt there was a lot of disconnection between different significant things that happened in the novel, almost like certain things never happened.

The novel follows a working-class family in Detroit and the dysfunctional relationships and activities in which they become involved.  Even at over 500 pages that is the best way I can describe it.  The mother marries in haste.  The son and daughter both become involved with married people.  The son goes on the run.  The daughter has a nervous breakdown after briefly turning to prostitution.  That kind of thing.

And I thought my family and my husband’s were bad…


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