Why I have it: Technically I read this for college but I thought as the first book I read in 2013 (I’m still not used to the change in year…) and a pretty good book in it’s own right, it deserved to be the first book to be reviewed for the blogs relaunch of sorts.
The Member of the Wedding is a character driven novel centred around 12 year old Frankie Addams. It follows the development of Frankie’s naïve often absurd adolescent mind as she fantasises about her brother’s upcoming wedding. It is this wedding which appears to hold Frankie’s fragile psyche together. She immerses herself in its preparations in an effort to run from the fact that she does not feel as if she belong anywhere. She takes the adolescent cliché of, “Nobody understands me” to new, often shocking, heights. While Frankie should be an entirely unlikable character with her often cruel heedless remarks and quite selfish acts, an audience can feel sympathy for her plight. It is possible that the appeal of the novel and the sympathy we can feel for Frankie, grows with how much we are willing to examine ourselves while reading it. This is because in Frankie lies a little bit of everyone, an insecurity that is inbuilt in our society driven species; a desperate need to feel as if we belong.
The plot of ‘The member of the wedding’ is not entirely important. It is what we learn as we explore what it is to belong and the consequences of isolation that make this book worth reading. It is a compelling read in that it has the capacity to set up a mirror to its audience and show in an unapologetically, the fragility of the human psyche and the necessity for social interaction. While reading a novel with an uncertain, undefined, main character such as Frankie is often uncomfortable even off-putting it is the same element that draws you back to this book. In crafting her McCullers succeeded in creating a deeply turbulent protagonist (antagonist? It’s that kind of novel…) whose complexity rewards rereading.
Rating: 4/5 (though to fully deserve this rating I’d have to read it again with a more critical and appreciative eye)
What I’m reading now: I’m reading a lot of books for college at the moment but I’m also quickly learning the necessity to keep reading for pleasure. So with that in mind I’ve made a list of books that having been lying around my house for years begging to be read and I’m going to read them in 2013. There are way more than the 26 that made the list but with college work set to increase, I know I can at least get these read and reviewed. At the moment I’ve just finished The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and expect to have it reviewed soon and am browsing the shelves for my next adventure…:D