I love finding books for a dollar, buried underneath boring cookbooks and meaningless scandinavian crime-lit, and then have these books be something special.
Also, Kate Winslet was on the cover and I’ve always been a little bit in love with her. I’d heard about the movie, but not enough to know the premise. That’s a good thing, because the premise is trite; April and Frank move into Revolutionary Road. They are the young beautiful couple that everyone envies and the book is dedicated to picking apart their marriage.
But the prose is beautiful, surprising, like a glass separating you from the two characters forcing you to substitute your own emotions into every bland, detailed descriptions. You are the neurotic April, you are Frank the cheater, you are the sharp twist, the evil word in each of their fights.
It does not matter that you can follow the obvious path the book takes; from their boring suburban life to their passionate dreams about France. It is a brilliant, ironic portrait of every resigned life lived by the imagined pattern dictated by society.
And it’s not that they don’t try, but their marriage exists solely on mutually constructed fantasies. She tells him he is the most interesting person in the world and to him she is the most swell gal. Their marriage is only alive when they’re dreaming. They are never happier than when they are planning to move to France together.
But then the pregnancy happens, a real pregnancy and a real child and it is not a dream. April is broken by this reality and Frank blunders on trying to construct a new dream for them, but it’s different this time. April knows she does not love him anymore. So what’s the point in even dreaming?
The ending may be read in many ways – some read it as April trying to reconstruct all their previous dreams and others read it as a final homage to a dream they once had, before it all ends. All it shows though is that April is a master at constructing a dream for Frank and Frank is content in closing his eyes and letting her.
Until, she woke him up.
“No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.”