“By the time they had lived seven years in the little house on Greentree Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, they both detested it. There were many reasons, none of them logical, but all of them compelling. For one thing, the house had a kind of evil genius for displaying proof of their weaknesses and wiping out all traces of their strengths.”
Tom and Betsy Rath feel like they should be happy with their lives but aren’t. A WWII veteran, Tom has a good job but wants a better one. They have three lovely children but are frustrated with the way they have no social life or energy. Their house is nice enough, but they both want something better. They are stuck in lower middle class and don’t know what they want or how to get it. When Tom is offered a job with a major company, he runs into an old veteran friend who knows one of Tom’s darkest secrets. As their friendship progresses, Tom is forced to examine how exactly he wants to live his life.
This book was published to rave reviews of its unflinching examination of the middle class American family. It searched for answers to the reason we all feel unfulfulled despite having everything we thought we wanted. We root for Tom and Betsy because we see ourselves in them. We’ve all had exciting options and ideas that either didn’t pan out or failed miserably. We all have crises of faith which show our moral foundation and make us look at our real selves. This book takes all the secret frustrations and little battles that an American married couple who is not quite well-off and puts them on display for the entire reading world to see. While not necessarily a book which provides answers to these issues, it most definitely examines the thought process and shows you that you’re not alone if you feel that you’re caught in an endless circle of meaningless work and that you’re wasting your life – but you’re not sure where to go.
“The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” was written by Sloan Wilson and published in 1955.