Friday, August 22, 2008

The State of the Union by Douglas Kennedy

State of the Union by Douglas Kennedy

When I picked this book in the library, my 1st thought is this is the writer for “The Pursuit of Happiness” which a movie I saw on DVD and thought it was very good. So I said to myself this book should be a good one and it is.
It’s about an American or generally about America at the mid 60s and 70s an era I'm not even born yet and as a foreigner and totally ignorant about that era, (all I know about 60s is about hippies). This story evolved around Hannah’s (the main character) life. She was in her early twenties when this story started. A normal character and might I say a bit boring for me, she has this incredible very radical parents whom in my opinion I wish my parents are (her father is a radical professor and her mother is a known painter). She wants a very normal life which is opposite to what her parents might expect. She married a doctor and went on living on a small town. There she have this second thoughts about what her life might be if she wasn’t with her husband then came this young men to her life. And of course there will be an affair gone wrong between them and surprisingly she chose to stay with her husband.
The climax of the story is the 2nd part, 34 years later where Hannah now is in her fifties. She has a normal life and living the most of it but then new problem arise. This new problem leads to her unknown affair which became a public matter. This is where it touched lots of subjects. Her infidelity, her role as a mother and all that was judge by public. It surprised me to read about American as a very judge mental and conservative society. Whereas everything about America I saw on TV is how open minded and empathy they felt to almost every suffering nation in the world (Oprah). It makes me mad when I came to the part where Hannah was at the rock bottom and her family deserted her on her time of need. I sympathized Hannah wholly on this part because I don’t think anyone should be left alone at time like that. The selfishness of some of the character is very mean. Maybe it’s true what they say our society nowadays becomes much more selfish and ignorant to other people sufferings.
The book truly succeed in capturing all emotions.

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