11 October 2010

The Kids Are Alright

Oh look. Another month and a half gone. 

Fall quarter is in full swing for me, and you know what that means.  For a history major, it means tons and tons and TONS of reading.  Which is why I'm still trying desperately to find time to finish The Kids Are Alright.  I started it at least ten times, during the few moments I could steal to read something for pleasure rather than for an obligation, always dozing off before I got past page 5.  Not because the book is boring or dull....it isn't.  Not because the story isn't compelling and heart-wrenching and phenomenally written....it is.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must tell you that I am  only about halfway through the book.  But what I've read so far, is why I read so much of it in one afternoon.  I found myself with some time today and picked it up (again) and honestly couldn't put it down.  I'm blowing off a book on Hitler (which, to a history major with a serious love for military history, is a bit like turning down a hit on the ol' crack pipe) to finish it tonight.

It's the story of four siblings, the Welch family, written in turn by each of them.  Each chapter heading is the name of the sibling that wrote those particular pages.  It's the story of their father's sudden and kind of mysterious death, and their mother's illness that came on the heels of it.  It is about how they each experienced these life altering and world shattering events, as children. 

Each of them has their own very distinctive voice, and it didn't take me long to figure out who was writing, even without the chapter headings.  Amanda is the oldest and she sounds angry.  She is MAD.  Maybe she's not now, but then....whoo.  Liz is ironic and articulate, and it doesn't surprise me to read on the back cover that she is a writer.  Dan is kind of sarcastic and blunt and doesn't mince his words.  And Diana is the baby.  She seems kind of bewildered at all that is going on around her.  She can't influence any of it and must just go along for the ride.  They're all heartbroken and devastated by their father's death and angered by their mother's inability to deal with it.  It's funny and sad and touching and messy and real. 

I love it.  I am invested in the players...do you call them characters when they are real people?...and I want to know more.  So, I'm going to go finish the book, so I can finish writing about it. 

5 comments:

Jenn said...

My reading habits suck lately. I need to pick out a few books to dive into...but I just can't seem to find either time or energy.

BUT!! I have a list...of books that perhaps I should check out. I'll add this to the list. It sounds good.

Thanks!! Jenn.

Linsey K / Me Too You / From Left to Write said...

Wow, blowing off Hitler - this book MUST be captivating you! I enjoyed it too - I found the different perspectives really engaging. Happy reading...I won't tell you how it ends :)

Diana Welch said...

Well, I hope that your grades don't slip on our account! But I sure am glad that the book is grabbing you...

and thanks so much for blowing off your schoolwork to read The Kids are All Right!!!

Diana Welch

Brenda Bartella said...

I understand the frustration of never having enough time to read! And then there's the time you need to WRITE! Hang in there. Keep on, keeping on.

Some Suburban Mom said...

Thanks for reading! And yes, I am aware of what a dork I sound like :) I just love studying history, especially military history, and people fascinate me...why they do what they do. I was shopping for books over the summer, and picked up a classic war novel that I hadn't read and thought, "Ooooh! I have to have that on my shelf," so I bought. Turns out it was on my required reading list for one of my classes this autumn. See? Dork. But I own it :)