Day 73: Phoenix by Chuck Palahniuk
Summary From Goodreads:
Rachel married Ted because he was uncomplicated and loyal. But he was also devoted to his wretched house (done up in black granite, black appliances, even black dishware) and his first love, an old, flatulent cat named Belinda Carlisle. Once Rachel becomes pregnant, Ted reluctantly agrees to move and give up the cat. But the house doesn’t sell, and Belinda Carlisle still haunts their home: every day the creature becomes fatter and more malodorous. When the house burns to the ground in a freak conflagration and the couple’s daughter, April, is born blind soon thereafter, the marriage is never the same again. Only on a business trip three years later does Rachel begin to reckon with the damage.
In an Orlando motel room far from Ted and April, Rachel wonders: Is her simple-minded husband more vindictive and manipulative than even Rachel could have imagined? How far will she go to keep the upper hand—a bit of emotional and physical torture, perhaps? Will she win the battle, only to lose so much else?
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
Phoenix is a twisted story of what one, likely deranged, woman will do to get back at her husband. She blames him for everything, from her daughter’s condition to what happened to the house, and whether she is right or not she refuses to let him get off “free”. The book jumps back and forth between the time before the fire and a bit over three years later and as the present moves forward Rachel becomes more and more paranoid. Palahniuk does a great job conveying her transformation and growing psychosis. Ted is just kind of there, but he’s an alright secondary character if a bit cookie-cutterish.
I didn’t think the plot was all that intriguing, but there was enough humor and crazy to keep the piece interesting. It is pretty short but entertaining enough for a very quick read. Overall, a decent short story for me. Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 74!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #73/365