Ordinary People

Book Review of Ordinary People
Ordinary People, by Judith Guest, is a novel about the difficulties and problems that occur in a seemingly normal family after the death of one of it’s members. The main character, Conrad, witnesses his brother, Buck, drown. After this tragic happening, Conrad attempts suicide by slashing his wrists. The novel begins when Conrad has come home from a mental hospital and is trying settle in. Through this telling the reader learns of the struggles that occur after Buck’s death and how his death destroys the family. The novel deals with conflict that all must deal with in society, but also tells of a child’s need for affection and understanding.
Each family member has a different problem from Buck’s death and each has a different outlook and interpretation of the situation, that could only be viewed through the book’s third person angle. Depression is an important theme in this book. It is present constantly, and may bring the reader into a saddened state, but is necessary to truly understand the complexities involved in this family. Guest\'s style of writing is very fitting to this story. Although this novel is fiction, it quickly becomes a reality in your mind. She paints these characters whom you can relate to.
One must pick apart and interpret this novel to fully absorb its meaning, but one would have to read this book multiple times to take in its many lessons. It brings up questions of ethics and methods of parenting. Appreciation for life immediately derives from reading this book and is broadens one’s eyes to the tragedy and misfortune that can strike in the lives of least expecting.