The InterestingseBook - 2013
"Remarkable . . . With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself."-- The New York Times Book Review
"A victory . . . The Interestings secures Wolitzer's place among the best novelists of her generation. . . . She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women's fiction. It's everyone's."-- Entertainment Weekly (A)
From Meg Wolitzer, the New York Times -bestselling author of The Female Persuasion, a novel that has been called "genius" ( The Chicago Tribune ), "wonderful" ( Vanity Fair ), "ambitious" ( San Francisco Chronicle ), and a "page-turner" ( Cosmopolitan ).
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 Interestings explores 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.
From the critics
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As a teenager, Julie (Jules) Jacobson has a life-changing summer at the Spirit-in-the-Woods camp. There she meets an incredibly talented young animator, Ethan Figman, and a girl named Ash who will become her best friend. While she keeps up with her camp friends throughout her life, her relationship with them changes. Envy of their success and wealth is a burden to her and prevents her from being happy and enjoying her many blessings including a loving husband and healthy daughter. Life doesn't always go the way you want it to, but it's still interesting!
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People could not get enough of what they had lost, even if they no longer wanted it.
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