The Easter Parade: A Novel
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In The Easter Parade, first published in 1976, we meet sisters Sarah and Emily Grimes when they are still the children of divorced parents. We observe the sisters over four decades, watching them grow into two very different women. Sarah is stable and stalwart, settling into an unhappy marriage. Emily is precocious and independent, struggling with one unsatisfactory love affair after another. Richard Yates's classic novel is about how both women struggle to overcome their tarnished family's past, and how both finally reach for some semblance of renewal.
a minute.’ ‘That’s kind of you, but I know it wasn’t “wonderful.” It was only the beginning.’ ‘Well, it was the beginning, Andrew. We’ll do better next time.’ ‘God. That’s what I always say. Every time I leave you and go back into that miserable, brutal, screaming world I think “I’ll do better next time.” And it’s always the same – always, always the same.’ ‘Sh-sh. Let’s just sleep now. Then maybe in the morning we’ll—’ ‘No. It’s even worse in the morning. You know that.’ During a warm
continent. In a very real sense, then, the story of George Fall is the story of America.’ She put the manuscript down, looking shy again, and took a deep drink of whiskey and water. ‘That’s excellent, Sarah,’ Emily said. ‘Really excellent.’ And Jack said something polite to show he was in total agreement. ‘Well, it probably needs work,’ Sarah said, ‘but that’s the general idea.’ ‘… Your sister’s very sweet,’ Jack Flanders said when he and Emily were on the train going home. ‘And she does
(one for her sister and one for her mother); on the platform she nodded to one of the scruffy-looking cab drivers who clamored around her – they seemed to make a nice business out of one-dollar fares to the hospital and back – and then she was in that bewildering maze of trees and buildings. Sarah’s building was one of the older ones – it had a turn-of-the-century look – and Emily found her on a heavily screened upstairs verandah, sitting deep in conversation with another woman of about her own
who would say ‘Tell me about yourself, Emily…’ But it wasn’t really a party at all. The eight or ten people in the Foxes’ living room never left their seats to get up and move around; they all seemed to know each other, and they sat in attitudes of exhaustion, with sardonic faces, sipping at tiny glasses of cheap red wine. There were no unattached men. Emily and Grace, sitting well apart from the main group, were wholly excluded from the talk until Myra Fox bustled over to their rescue, bringing
‘wonderful’ bar called Anatole’s, which Tony had discovered on the upper East Side. ‘Now, this fellow’s a different story entirely,’ Walter Grimes said on the telephone. ‘I like him; you can’t help liking him…’ ‘Our young people seem to be getting on rather well, Mrs. Grimes,’ Geoffrey Wilson said one afternoon, with his wife smiling beside him. ‘Perhaps it’s time for us to get better acquainted.’ Emily had often seen her mother flirt with men before, but never quite so openly as the way she