Review: Rockville Pike

December 9, 2006

Rockville Pike CoverRockville Pike
by Susan Coll

Grade: D

The Synopsis: Jane Kramer is in an unhappy marriage, dislikes her home, town, and pseudo-job.

The Review: This is a story about a woman who does not fit in in the suburbs, does not have any skills to leave her husband and find work, and even if she did, I doubt she would. Jane is hard to sympathize with, because she does not take any initiative to try and make her life happier. She is the type of person who never finishes anything she starts, and makes her family’s financial problems worse by shopping all the time. I wonder where she wears all those clothes, because she is never as well dressed as the other mothers, and never goes out even for coffee with anyone.
For the most part, the book is her telling you everyhing wrong with her life, but never actually showing you–you barely know what she spends her days doing, besides thinking about her son’s youth soccer days. She claims to have a close relationship with her son, but she doesnt even interact with him til the end of the book.
In the end, Jane eventually does make a move to do something about her life, but even her seemingly drastic measure seems aborted half way through. However, after she does this, her life is magically better. A relative dies leaving them money to pay off the credit cards, she stops fighting with her husband with no explanation, she suddenly discovers what she can do as a job and actually seems to stick to it this time. Either this is all too pat and easy, or she never had problems worth reading about in the first place.
This is the first book I have read by Susan Coll, and I suspect it will be the last.

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