The Jarrets are a typical American family. Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. In this memorable, moving novel, Judith Guest takes the reader into their lives to share their misunderstandings, pain . . and ultimate healing.
I had never heard of this book previous to someone lending it to me with other books, saying that it would be a great read. Well they were right. This book was so emotionally dead-on, and really made me think outside of my own situation.
The book explores the themes of a normal American family, whose exciting plot is made up of nothing more than hardships that are commonly found in various households. The Jarrets lose one of their sons, and we are introduced to the surviving son, Conrad, when the book opens. We see immediately the pain that is weighing down on Conrad, and view his insight after he tries to commit suicide and spends time in a mental hospital.
The book really is very moving and is full of dynamic supporting characters, many who will make you angry, and some that make you never give up hope for Conrad. I really enjoyed the book (and can't wait to watch the 1980 Oscar-winning movie!) and must say that Guest really captured the emotion perfectly, and I had no trouble believing that the struggle to recovery that we see Conrad and his family endure, was anything but genuine.
|It's a movie!|
Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!
As mentioned before, we see right off the bat that Conrad has experienced hardship, and something really traumatic, even if we don't learn until later that he has lost his only brother (and thinks it's his fault) and suffered from severe depression finally exploding when he tries to take his own life.
As the book goes on, Guest lets us in more and more into what really happened, which kept me really interested in the book, and gave it an even more realistic quality, as if I was Conrad's psychologist. I loved that aspect.
I also loved the various points of view that we get to experience. Cal, Conrad's father, gave us an interesting view on the situation and also into his own problems, which is so characteristic of the situation; another thing I loved! I enjoyed being in on the problems within the marriage as well as his heartfelt struggles to reconnect with Conrad, holding on to the last string for dear life, and trying to know what to say and how to act. Which was so authentic. This book was just so spot-on and accurate and true. I loved it!
The only thing I hated was Conrad's mother. She just never seemed to get it. It infuriated me, but in a good way. I knew that she was paramount to the story, and I just loved hating the hell out of that biatch. She just never seemed to understand her own son's struggles and never even wanted to. This book truly showcased a heartbreaking situation that occurs often in our society, and did it amazingly.
I recommend this book to both adults and teens, because I think it should be read by all, and can be interpreted, understood, and helpful to all!
Moved--Cheers & Enjoy♥