The Interestings

April 6, 2014


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 InterestingsMeg 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

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  • Reply Vanessa April 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Sounds interesting, I just bought it for my vacation 😉

  • Reply Nina April 8, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I read this book and I liked it! I have yet to be in a situation where anyone around me was considerably much more well off the way Ash and her husband were. One thing I found different though is that I don’t think I would turn down their help. There were a few times when the more well-off couple kept offering to pay for Jules’ hardships, and if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t have been too hesitant to accept help. Maybe if the couple acted like they were condescending, but if they were generally being helpful, I wouldn’t have turned it down.

    There are times though when I get sick of seeing people’s Facebook statuses about all their wonderful vacations, so I imagine that if all I heard from my best friends were their amazing trips and easy life, I would probably bristle a little bit. Still, in thinking about my friends, and should any of them ever skyrocket to this kind of level, I would like to think that we have our roots firmly entrenched that we would still have something to revert to and relate with one another.

    In Jules’ story, that didn’t seem to be the case. Ash and her brother and the other friends were all well-off already, while she was on scholarship when she met them at camp. It’d be like me getting a scholarship to a fancy private school and having to compete or fit in to that environment. If that were the case, then I would probably struggle a bit more and resent their offers to help.

    So glad you picked this up Betty! The last good fiction book I read was called “Americanah” (highly recommend) and I just finished a short stories series called “Nine Inches.”
    Nina recently posted..4 Ways to Help Your Older Child Handle the Baby’s CriesMy Profile

    • Betty
      Reply Betty April 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Nina! We can sit down and talk about this one day! There is so much more I want to add…LOL! I have another review coming up…The Fault in Our Stars…my goodness. I had dreams about it for days.

      Thanks for your input. I think it is perfectly normal to feel a little jealous when looking through friends’ Facebook pages, etc. What is not right is to wish ill on your BFFs. So wrong! I don’t think Jules did at all. There was such a fine line for me, as a reader though, that made me think about it all. 480 pages and that’s all I could think about!! Ha!

      Loved the book! xoxo
      Betty recently posted..Eternal Spring with Neutrogena My Profile

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