I have to be honest it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I could easily pontificate about Perrotta’s skill when it comes to social commentary and his ability to make readers squirm, because he hits the realism button far too often. However I do believe this is over-hyped and doesn’t live up to expectations.
It doesn’t take a master of social interactions to create this type of scenario. In fact I think a lot of it is gratuitous sexual gratification, perhaps for the shock factor. Shall we say, the ticking of en vogue boxes.
Even though the words sexual harassment were thrown in as a kind of jokey afterthought, and not taken seriously at all, Mrs Fletcher was definitely guilty of crossing the line. She was guilty of crossing quite a few of those. There seemed to be a really big focus on the son and his dubious actions, especially his very particular brand of misogyny, and yet none on the mother. There shouldn’t be distinction made between the two just because one of them is a middle-aged woman.
One could argue that her son knows no better because he wasn’t taught to treat women with respect. What is her excuse? Does she believe women aren’t held up to the same standards when it comes to crossing boundaries?
There was also a contradiction when it came to Mrs Fletcher being an over-protective mother, and yet that same person becomes so involved in her sexual fantasies that the plight of her son goes completely unnoticed.
Taking a step back I can see the intent or the point the author was striving to make, a tongue-in-cheek scathing eye-opener on the life a suburban housewife, but it wasn’t executed very well.