I,m glad that I don,t live in small town America…in the novel, most characters are either potty, alcoholic, xenophobic or obssessed with sex! Having said that, the central theme is pertinent to anywhere. Clint,s potential retirement, the kids flying the nest and finding that he,s “a Spanish swan amongst Norwegian geese” triggers nostalgia for the past and his unrealised ambitions. He wants to recapture his lost youth and make different choices. It was nicely put on page 92, his life has turned out “as if he were in a play written by someone who didn,t like him”.
I do quite like his character, he does have a conscience about his behaviour, but my sympathies lie with his long suffering wife, Irene. I admire her determination to fight for him, be it with a gun! after she had coolly weighed up the “pros and cons” of life on her own after 34 years! She has no illusions….she says that “all men are hitch hikers” Do we agree with this?
I did , surprisingly, enjoy the book and think the story worked well wrapped around the rather ludicrous independance day celebrations.