The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

IMG_20131016_094915I’m not sure what one says about Richard Yates beyond he’s fabulous. I’m making that statement having read only one book, but I’d be willing to bet it holds true over the whole of his writing career. BookTube is in love with Yates, and I’m so glad they encouraged me to give him a shot.

The Easter Parade is a character study of two sisters, Sarah and Emily, who take very different paths in life. They’re products of a broken marriage and eccentric parents. Sarah takes the traditional path of marriage and children. Emily goes the way of the progressive, modern woman with a career, leaving marriage and children out of her plan for the most part. Neither sister’s ever after is particularly happy.

I love a good chunky novel that is barely over 200 pages. The chunky comes from Yates’s ability to fill his pages with so much depth and character development. Nothing much happens but I couldn’t put the book down. If I’d been able to, I’d have read the whole thing in one sitting. Sarah and Emily are such complex individuals and have such a complex sisterhood. I could relate to bits and pieces of them both.

Yates paints a very bleak picture for both sisters despite the alternate paths they chose. The story takes place in the early to middle 20th Century. Seeing how women’s lives where changing and the consequences of those changes was fascinating. For Yates to have such a command of the female voice was impressive.

Highly recommended! I can’t wait to finally pick up Revolutionary Road now and fall in love all over again.

Rating: starstarstarstar

P.S. In so many ways I kept thinking of the Kardashians when I read this.

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21 thoughts on “The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

  1. Isn’t Richard Yates wonderful? He’s not read nearly as much as he deserves. The Easter Parade was one of my favorite books a couple of years ago… you’re in for a treat with Revolutionary Road, too. I also highly recommend A Tragic Honesty, a Yates bio by Blake Bailey. It’s the best literary bio I’ve ever read.

    • His ending was very bleak, but I really enjoyed much of the book and felt it was just very straightforward and realistic. I’m definitely not going to read all of his books right after the other, though.

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