“We are not ourselves” by Matthew Thomas (FICTION THOMAS)
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty grows up in Queens. She lives in a rented apartment with her Irish immigrant parents who drink too much. She‘s smart, stunning, and determined to get more from life. She becomes a nurse and marries Ed Leary, a good stable man who loves her. Ed is a neuroscientist whose promising career fuels Eileen’s dreams .
She believes the house in the right neighborhood with the proper furniture is within her grasp, but Ed doesn’t share her ambition. He insists on teaching at a junior college, rejecting offers to move up the academic and professional ladder. They progress from renting to buying, but Eileen wants more. Ed loves Eileen and their son Connell, but he fiercely resists change. The fixer-upper in the better neighborhood stretches their finances and their marriage; when Ed receives a diagnosis that changes everything, Eileen must reconsider what’s really important.
How do we cope when dreams don’t match reality? Matthew Thomas writes beautifully about this particular take on the American Dream.