‘Arlington Park’

Rachel Cusk’s Arlington Park (2006) begins with rain, and more rain. It’s rainy. And when the rain stops, we get passive-aggressive anger. Quite a lot of it. I’m getting notes of strawberry and hint of lemon flavour... oh, and hint of John Cheever. But this is a story from the ‘other side’, which is to say, the wife of Bullet Park... or Arlington Park. It feels like the anger should have bubbled away as subtext, or the protagonist should really have gone for it and blown the place apart… or something. Anything. Instead, it doesn’t really go anywhere, not that it should. The Outline trilogy has a great concept, presented in a throwaway style — ‘nothing much’ ado about the Middle-Class — but this feels like it is missing something.