The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve been having a very good reading year. I don’t think I disliked any of the books I read so far in 2012, a fact that will make compiling my annual top 5 list that much harder, but makes me very happy. I read The Easter Parade really fast (for my standards) and it was only partly due to my new, significantly longer commute.

It’s a wonderful book that I found to be fascinating although quite bleak. It concerns the lives of two sisters, Emily and Sarah, and the relationship between them, told from Emily’s side.

I am not going to give away anything about the plot, but I just have to say that it is heartbreaking. And you can tell some kind of tragedy is eventually going to happen right from the start, although you are not told in any direct way, just through the feeling the writing evokes. Not some kind of big, sudden tragedy of the Hollywood-special-effects kind, but a slow, painful decline, which felt even sadder.

Yates’ writing is very succinct and very real, without any fluff, which worked well with the plot that spans many decades. Some parts of this masterfully written book hit a bit close to home for me. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever read a better, more realistic and upsetting description on what depression is like. But I don’t mean to make it seem like a complete downer, it is overall full of hope and very readable, I just really appreciated how thought provoking it was on happiness and compromise and relationships and I guess, life in general.

Have you read anything by Richard Yates? What did you think of his writing style?


4 thoughts on “The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

  1. Melissa says:

    I haven’t read this one, but I read his book Revolutionary Road and I had a similar reaction. I loved the writing, just beautiful, but it was so bleak.

    • bookworm says:

      I suppose that’s the style all his books are written in… I really want to read Revolutionary Road, but not so soon after reading this, I need to read some happier books first!

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