The Member of the Wedding

book cover Picked this up at Powell’s on a friend’s strong recommendation. The story is about a young girl who feels alienated from everything and everybody until she hears about her brother’s upcoming wedding. Then suddenly, she feels this connection to the world, the people in it, and her own “true” self.

I ended up feeling quite ambivalent about the main character. It seems like part of the story is that, at least for some people, they feel most connected to the world when they hook themselves onto totally made-up things that they give a significance beyond themselves. And while that might not be so bad the sort of depressing part is that then when that person feels she loves the people she encounters, she’s really not interacting with them qua separate individuals at all. It’s just she has a feeling of goodness pouring outside herself and they are nothing but vessels she fills with that feeling. They aren’t really real, if that makes sense. And, if that’s right, the story of connection and love is quite solipsistic.

Very good, heart-aching book.

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