This month's book club book. Something I definitely would not have picked for myself. The book follows Pearl and her three children Cody, Ezra, and Jenny. Pearl is a perfectionist. Everyone thinks she is going to end up an old maid when she meets Beck Tull, a traveling salesman. They are married and live together for several years, moving around, and then one evening Beck says "I'm leaving". Pearl pretends that nothing is wrong, and says nothing to the kids. She finds a job at a local supermarket, and chaos reigns in her house. She is pretty harsh to her children, shoving one of them down the stairs and calling them names. Didn't really care for her as a mother.
Cody is a wild and adventurous boy who often plays pranks on his kind brother, Ezra. My favorite prank was when he removed the wood support planks from Ezra's bed, carefully made the bed, then enjoyed himself when Ezra fell through. He always felt second best to Ezra; that everyone loved him better, even his girlfriends. He grew up to be a successful efficiency expert.
Ezra started working in a restaurant cutting vegetables, and would later own and manage the restaurant. He looked on his childhood with fondness, and would often try to get his family to eat a meal together at his restaurant. Ezra was my favorite character out of all the children, the most likeable.
Jenny was the most scholarly of the kids, and was set on being a pediatrician. Along the way she made a few mistakes - a couple of marriages - before settling down with a man who already had several kids. There she found her happiness in running a chaotic home.
It was interesting to read as their past carried on through their life. Cody never got over his resentment of Ezra, and even stole his fiance. He just felt he had to have her. Later on he would realize that things weren't quite what he thought, but could never get over that feeling. Ezra always stayed close to his mother, and made his restaurant the Homesick Restaurant. He never stopped trying to get his family together, even their father.
I honestly didn't really care for the book; none of the characters stood out to me and nothing in the book drew me in. It does do a good job of examining the role of a parent, and how siblings who share the same past look on it differently.