Monday, August 18, 2014

The Interestings

Look! Another camp book that is actually about camp this time. Well, most of it. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer has popped up on a lot of lists lately. I actually had it on hold for me at the library months ago but I was out of town and couldn't get to it in time.


Good Reads' Synopsis: "The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.

Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestingsexplores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life."
What I Thought: This one had a lot of promise for me in the beginning. I enjoyed getting to know the characters as teenagers. It transported me back to a time when I could have pointed out a person in my life to fit every one of these kids. However, as they aged and their stories continued it just dragged on a bit. There was no real spark. I wasn't invested in their futures or where they ended up. I kept wishing Wolitzer had spent more time developing their stories at camp. It just felt a bit flat which was disappointing.

Rating: * * 1/2

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