American suburbian lifestyle in the 70’s

Typical suburbs consist of single-family homes with small gardens around the houses. The plots are surrounded by a fence.
The neighbours do a lot of smalltalk and gossip, slagging around and observing each other, but also they help each oher, because it is something lika a codex of neighbourhood. Furthermore they superficial and want to keep a typical atmosphere as if Cecila had never died.
In the suburbs there are a lot of different nationalities and diversities.


  • single-family homes
  • small gardens around the house
  • plots are surrounded by a fence


  • neighbors do a lot of smalltalk and gossip
  • slagging about and observing each other
  • helping each other (remove the fishflies even at the Lisbon’s, p. 53/54)
  • typical high school events (homecoming), p. 109 ff
  • superficial (complaining about the decay of the Lisbon house after C’s death), “Mary, Bonnie, Lux, and Therese came to school as though nothing had happened.” (p. 60)
  • national diversity (Greek p. 165 ff , German p. 119, Italian p. 16…)
  • taking care one another “Everybody sent something” after the death of Cecilia (p. 45 f) or: “braved personal calls.”
  • their world has to be perfect; people ignore negative things –> (“Thank you for the party, Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon.” [p. 30] one girl says after Cecilia’s suicide, completely missing the point in that situation; “Cecilia’s death was listed in the church record as an ‘accident’ […] and the parson asks “How do you know she didn’t slip?” (p. 34) => wants to believe that it happened by chance, not intent

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