What book was this?
May 3, 2013 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Help me ID a book I read a few years back ...

Around that time I was reading Revolutionary Road, Mrs. Bridge, Updike, and I put this in the same general category of middle-class angst ... Here's what I remember:
• I believe it was by a prominent author.
• Written in the 50s or 60s; set about the same time.
• Early on, a couple goes to a weekend house party in PA; maybe some perceived tension re social class.
• Later, the husband's uncle moves in with the couple. His health declines, and the wife is more and more the caregiver.
• The husband confesses an affair with his secretary; soon he moves out. The uncle stays & declines further. The wife is pretty bitter about this. There's some question that she may have hastened his death.
• There's some tension with the teenage son. Maybe a car accident.
• The wife does some writing for magazines; can't recall how successfully.
Help me hive!
posted by LonnieK to Writing & Language (5 answers total)
This sounds really familiar to me--are you sure it's the husband's uncle who moves in, and not his father?
posted by leesh at 8:04 AM on May 3, 2013

You already mentioned Updike, but the subject matter and Pennsylvania setting sure do sound like an Updike novel. Maybe the "Rabbit" books?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2013

Response by poster: Thx both...
leesh, I'm almost certain it was an uncle. I remember some of the vibes around the house, and they match a once-removed relative more than they would a father-in-law, or, in the case of the teenage son, a grandfather.
El Sabor, it wasn't Updike. No Rabbit, and the POV was the woman's. But it was an author you'd recognize; not sure if he (male, I think) was prominent then, or became so later.
posted by LonnieK at 5:19 AM on May 4, 2013

One thing that has worked for me in the past: go to amazon and look up the books you mentioned and then scroll down to the section 'People Who Bought This Also Bought' and browse through that. If that doesn't bring up your exact book, it might trigger more memories for you, or even help you figure out the author.
posted by Brody's chum at 11:25 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Found it! Edith's Diary by Patricia Highsmith.
I had tried the Amazon route, but I tried it again, to no avail. Also tried a 'find this book' page that came back with a reply a month or so later.

I was way off on the pub date (77).

Thanks all! Great read, BTW.
posted by LonnieK at 7:47 AM on June 18, 2013

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