Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reading: The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

The Member of the Wedding is a very peculiar book.  When I first began reading it, I found it to be downright strange.  To my dismay, I set the book aside since I did not have to read it for my class just yet and when I went to pick up where I left off, I noticed that my bookmark had popped out.  I did not want to start reading the book over again but did so anyway and I am glad I did.
The Member of the Wedding is a story of a girl named Frankie on the brink of becoming a teenager but still stuck in her childhood world.  Frankie longs to be apart of something but it seems that everything about her sets her apart from the rest of the world.  She feels disconnected to the earth, to the people who surround her, and her peers.  She is tall and lanky with short hair and often envisions herself joining the freaks at the carnival because of her look.  While the world goes on around her, she does the same thing everyday for the entire summer and sulks in her misfortune.  To her surprise, her brother comes home after being stationed in Alaska for the military and announces that he is getting married.  Frankie begins to question who she is and where she belongs and goes on a journey of minor self-discovery that accurately does not take her very far but far enough to start to grow up.  All Frankie can think about during the novel is how she no longer wants to just be a "me" anymore but instead a "we". 
There were a lot of literary style elements to this book that I loved.  One thing that made this book unique was it's ability to capture time.  The novel literally only takes place in the span of two days or so.  The narration is very reflective and honest.  It is hard not to relate to Frankie in some small way.  Her inner thoughts take the reader back to his/her adolescence and set the stage for all of the crazy thoughts racing through a 12-year-old's mind.  Frankie is an innocent girl yet sees herself at one point as a full grown adult, referring to herself as F.Jasmine.  She wants to join her brother and his new wife on their honeymoon as if it is normal for people to tag along.  She also fails to realize when an older man is obviously coming on to her.  Frankie's ignorance is a bit annoying but in terms of character, it was spot on.  This book also shows the human mind at work and how quickly a person can change his/her mind in an instant.  The reader sees how Frankie got from point A to point B and it all makes sense and feels real as if the reader was the one thinking things through.
Overall, the novel was good but no where near a favorite.  It was just good and that was it.  Nothing special.  I will give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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