I'll be completely honest. I had never heard of this book until I saw a short "Making of the Movie" on HBO during a business trip about 2 months ago.
But ever since I heard about the movie and the basic premise, I have been wanting to read the book. (I'm a big believer of reading the book before watching the movie.)
Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler. It is the story of life in the 50s, after the war. It is the story of suburban living.
But then again, it's not.
I hate when people say, "It's just as relevant now as it was then." But this is a time when it is true.
Frank and April Wheeler are a young, intelligent couple who believe that anything is possible. That greatness and importance are just around the next bend in the road. However, they allow this belief the permeate everything in their lives.
Frank doesn't see himself as another businessman. April doesn't see herself as a suburban housewife. Neither of themselves see themselves as parents. And yet, that is the life they are living.
But still, they cling to their imaginary importance and greatness and refuse to "condescend" to the current situation. They refuse to feel any connection to their work, their surroundings, or the people around them.
But this also makes it impossible for them to connect with anything else. Their children. Each other.
This book was extremely painful to read. To recognize in myself the daily discontent of current situations. To admit to the feeling that greatness is within my reach. But it also allowed myself to identify the mistakes that Frank and April were making that I was not. The profound joy of my life. The hope that instills everyday. The connection that I have with my family. All things that were missing from the Wheelers existence.
Ultimately, it is a story of profound dissapointment, betrayal, and self-induced isolation. Heart-wrenchingly real and painful; no punches pulled.