Ordinary People is about a typical –I can say that is fairly ordinary— American family (ordinary in a sense of not having something unique but possessing problems which makes the novel believable, the characters, human). The Jarrets composes of four members; unfortunately, we get to know them as just three, for they are struck with an inevitable tragedy. And that’s one of the factors that revolves around the story.
Someone would likely to comment that the novel is a way bit long than the intended storyline. Readers would likely get tired of the slow narrative of events, even though how it is written is very admirable. Having said this, I guess that it cannot pull enough emotions if the author doesn’t narrate the story as it is, slow –at times— it is. Basically, I would not recommend this for readers who want to read something fast-paced and thrilling. But if one wants to read something that builds in an emotional tension and understanding, don’t look around further. Yeah, the novel has a tendency to bore some readers, but perseverance is well paid-off.
Ordinary People is made into a major motion picture. Robert Redford’s direction of the adaptation is highly praised and it won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1980.
Opening Sentence: To have a reason to get up in the morning, it is necessary to possess a guiding principle.
Ending Sentence: He picks up the nine-iron, swinging it lightly through the grass as he walks toward the house.