I must confess that I finished this book on the plane ride back from San Francisco and I am JUST posting about it! Well into the new book club books (2 this time!), I had to put everything down to tell you to hurry, go get The Interestings and start reading now.
With many ideas, intertwined lives, and a span of almost 40 years of a group of friends’ years together, in The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer does a fantastic job of having the readers evaluate themselves through the life of this clique. We meet Julie, who is welcomed to an exclusive group of teenagers from Manhattan while on her first visit to camp one summer. The reader can’t help but wonder if Julie will ever feel like she belongs, no matter how far she goes in life. While reading about the lives of her successful and talented friends throughout the book, I kept wondering if in real life anyone is ever satisfied, and if the whole idea of contentment exists in the most ambitious people out there.
Do you ever look at your childhood friends and remember the dreams you all shared while growing up, the individual talents everyone seemed to possess? There’s something so pure about the feeling of possibilities in the teenage years, and if we have the opportunity to witness our friends’ adult lives, it is truly a gift. Some stories surprise us, while others’ lives captivate us, and some are even heartbreaking.
However, no matter where we are in our personal lives, as the characters of The Interestings help us explore, it seems there can be different levels of jealousy (and sometimes even envy) when it comes to our friends’ other friendships, their marriages and careers that compliment their fabulous life. Yet, we are happy for our friends! So, do these feelings arise because of the lack of satisfaction with our own situations? Can these two ideas co-exist? Can we be happy for our friends and be a little jealous at the same time? Very interesting, indeed.
Would love to know what you think of The Interestings. Let me know if you pick it up!
image: mikifoto by mallika malhotra