To entertain myself on the way to work, I’ve started listening to spoken books on CD. These are easily obtained for free from the libraray.
This week, I am reading, “Us” by Richard Mason. What I enjoy about this book is that it involves 3 characters: Julian, Jake and Adrienne, and the book begins by dedicating each chapter to a specific character. Once the characters meet, the names of the chapters involve 2 – 3 people.
All three of these people have landed in different circumstances in life. Julian is a teacher, whose father believes he is a waste of space. Jake is a famous artist turned alcoholic. Adrienne is married to an older man and pregnant, fullfilling her mother’s expectations of social status and wealth.
Julian began as a middle class English boy who ends up in Oxford after 5 years of boarding school. His practice is to keep his head low and avoid trouble. Essentially, he plays along with the crowd, right or wrong, in order to not draw attention to himself. In his second year, he meets an American girl, Andreinne and falls in love with her.
Adrienne comes from a wealthy family in the US. Adrienne’s mother is overbearing and the antithesis of what a mother should be. As Adrienne leaves for college, she shouts after her that when she became pregnant with Adrienne, she came “that close” to having an abortion. Can you imagine? Adrienne chooses Oxford in order to get away from her mother.
Jake is a lower class English boy who lands in boarding school via a monetary gift. The boys catch on that he is from a poor family, and ride him hopelessly. He falls in love with Julian’s sister. I have not gotten to the part where he goes to Oxford, but I’m betting he is landing there soon.
I always start a new book by thinking, “This book is going to stink”, but I become quickly attached to it, and can’t wait to get into my car and drive awhile so I can hear what happens next.