Between the Lines on Inside the O’Briens
Boston has a crazy strong culture. Boston is a historical town, and it has historically been dominated by Irish culture. I think even to to this day, you can feel that culture and pride emanating even when visiting the city. With that culture, comes certain traditions and ways of life that their residents don’t tend to stray away from them. The O’Brien’s are no different. For example, Rosie expects that Katie would marry a “man of faith from a good family, have a steady job and ideally live in Charleston.” What Rosie truly meant is a Catholic, a good family being Irish, and a steady job working for fire department, police, or at the post office.My community is almost the complete opposite of this. Living in Washington D.C. everyone is a transplant from somewhere else. The D.C. “culture” is being multicultural.
I wish that we got to know the brothers and sisters a bit more. We barely knew Patrick, JJ’s character didn’t have too much depth, and the one sister we knew the most about, Katie, I don’t feel like is the “most” alike to Joe.
There are many factors that keep Katie tethered to stay in Boston with her family. First of all, for generations her family has been living in Boston, in the same house, as one large family. This tradition provides stability, routine, and consistency. Unfortunately for Katie, not only are her dreams are being held back by keeping this tradition, but also her relationship.
I think this is one of the most terrifying and depressing aspects of the book and of the disease. Even half-way through the book, when Joe took walks and was still able to move and communicate decently, he wouldn’t realize the tremors he was having and would have to wait until someone reacted to it, like when he was walking Yaz and another lady walking a dog blatantly avoided all contact with Joe and Katie.From our point of view, I think he relies heavily upon Katie and Rosie. He avoids burdening JJ, Patrick is unavailable, and Meghan is busy with ballet.
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