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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Arlington Park

I read this 2006 novel by Rachel Cusk as a step towards my goal to read all her books. Arlington Park adopts the format of linked stories about five women in a London suburb over the course of one rainy day. They take the kids to school, go to a mall, get a haircut and prepare for a dinner party. They all have young children and they are all dissatisfied with their lives. The kids are cranky and snotty, the husbands are mostly unhelpful and suburbia is the pits. Not uplifting but it describes the life of many women then and still. I have always had a career but I remember the days when I was a stay at home mother on maternity leave. My days would focus on feeding the babies and preparing for my husband's return from work. I would dress the kids in fancy French-made outfits for the momentous daily event that meant I had another adult to talk to. My extended family was far away. My friends were all working mums but we didn't have the sense to arrange overlapping maternity leaves. I felt terribly isolated and this book brought all those three-decades-old feelings back. I realize that not all women will identify with Cusk's bleak view but I did.

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