There is this movie called “Little Children” that I saw three years ago and to this day think about every so often. Starring Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Connell. It’s about many things, in particular it’s about gender roles, suburban life, and being an adult. It’s about being dissatisfied with the choices you’ve made including your marriage. That’s honestly the bare bones description. Parts of it I don’t remember but what I do remember is that I loved the bizarre drama. When walking through Chapters over the holidays with my Mom I came across the original book written by Tom Perrotta. I bought it without even thinking.
It’s not like me to a) buy books that turned into movies that I’ve already seen or b) buy anything that could be compared to a Harlequin novel. Maybe I was hungry for some scandal. Either way, I’m a quarter way through the book and I definitely don’t regret my purchase. I love that it bounces from one character to the next yet they all appear to be dealing with the same dissatisfaction. Something we all feel from time to time.
This book reminds me of John Cheever (one of my all time faves), whose short stories all take place in the suburbs during the 50s and 60s (the rise of suburbia). His stories always point out that suburban life can be alienating, isolating, and commercial. On top of that his characters are in a constant struggle with themselves, their inner thoughts and their outer personas. These themes are definitely prevalent in Perrotta’s novel.
Wonder if Perrotta is a fan of Cheever?