Anyone who has ever lived in a small town or a subdivision will find this novel hilarious. I grew up in a really small town and didn’t live in a subdivision myself but have seen them popping up everywhere since I was a child and had many friends whose families moved into them as soon as they sprung up. Little boxes in a row indeed, each coming up with smaller yards and getting closer and closer to your neighbors. It was surprising to me how relevant the novel remains even though it was written in the ’70s. The suburbs and subdivisions they inspire are still as popular as ever as more and more people move from the city to the suburbs in search of a cheaper cost of living.
Every chapter is a little foray into suburb and small town life from going to garage sales to attending block parties. Some of my favorite chapters are the ones where the mother has to go into the schools and be a yard duty. I remember those mothers well at my own school and find it even funnier now that I myself work in education. The depiction of kids is priceless. If you’ve ever watched the show Recess from the Disney channel it’s exactly like the kindergartners. So spot on it’s scary. I also loved the garage sale chapter. I remember way back in the day when my grandmother used to make my brother and I man the cash box at her garage sales and how crazy people get bargaining over the things you think are total crap.
The nostalgia factor is again so high in this novel. It just reminds me of growing up and being surrounded and enveloped by subdivisions. I laughed out loud quite a few times by different caricatures of people I’ve known or friends’ parents. Even my own parents at times. My dad who always insisted on fixing everything himself and the conversations we have over dinner, probably the same three over and over again.
I didn’t think I would find this novel as funny as my grandma said it was but I can happily say that it is. I would definitely recommend it for this who like dry humor and commentary on the norms and mores of suburb living.
Next up in Book Battle 2015 is the flipped of this one. A book that will make you cry. Stay tuned for the title. Happy reading!