You are watching: The living is easy dorothy west summary
The story adheres to the life of Cleo Jericho Judson. Cleo to be born in the south, the eldest of four girls, come a sharecropper. She moved north, married a wealthy company man, and set about deceiving him and also treating him poorly in her quest to socially climb amongst the black families of good name in Boston. She devotes the bulk of she time to weaseling money out of him, the remainder to lying to family and also acquaintances in the wishes of personal gain. As shortly as she is able to con she husband into moving into a larger house in a far better neighborhood, she lies around the cases of she sisters, and gets him come send them money come come visit. Cleo’s sisters have worked out in various places, marrying men they love. Castle aren’t wealthy. Castle aren’t relocating up in the world. But they are loved and also content. Cleo sets the end to adjust all that.She manages, by hook or by crook, to destroy her sisters’ marriages. Every has brought a child along to Cleo’s house, and she arranges their stays as well, forcing them come become little Bostonians. Cleo has additionally arranged the life of her daughter’s tutor, an impoverished young mrs whose father, from among the oldest developed families, had actually gone bankrupt and also died. Cleo is a grasp manipulator whose must be admired is pathologic. She craves control. Eventually, she bleeds she husband dry. (That’s not entirely her fault. WWI has actually started, influence his shipping of bananas. And also the consolidation of grocery store stores squeezes the end independents. However one gets the feeling he can have done far better if not sustaining all Cleo’s sisters and also nieces and also nephew–as well as the insatiably money-hungry Cleo.) return she treated him favor dirt, she realizes just how dependent she is top top him. The lose of his unconditional support is devastating. Or should have actually been. However even at rock-bottom, Cleo has no actual insight. She is quiet weaseling money indigenous people and looking for who to exploit next.This well-drawn portrait that a narcissistic sociopath is surprisingly dull to read. Over there is society commentary and also portrayals of racism (largely intra-community racism together the lighter skinned among them are an ext admired, and also they acquire to look down on those who space darker, or those much more recently come increase from the south.) With good writing and also themes that room unusual and also uncomfortable, this should have been much more compelling. However the story manages to be both unpleasant in that is revelations and tedious. Only towards the end does the pace pick up, because the reader will certainly be an ext than ready for Cleo’s chicken to come home to roost. Unfortunately, that way the great and the weak civilization in the novel are dragged down with her. While i tried to discover an basic insecurity in Cleo, or some factor to excuse her or empathize, in the end there was no justification for she utter selfishness.Maybe it’s simply that i didn’t must be reading such a cynical book around such an awful human when over there is so much horrible ingredient going top top in the real human being just now.
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It was a struggle to obtain through. However at the very least I can now inspect off one much more book ~ above the challenge.