The Interestings; Meg Wolitzer
Penguin Audio - 2013
I had read several reviews about this book over the past year and thought the story sounded "interesting" (no pun intended).
The Interestings follows the lives of (6) individuals who meet at an artsy summer camp called Spirit in the Woods, in the Berkshires. All but one of these teens came from very wealthy families living in New York City, while Julia (Jules), was there on scholarship - her father passed away in his 40s of pancreatic cancer. It's the1970s, and during the course of that summer, the group calls themselves "The Interestings", making a pact of sorts that they will make something of themselves and their lives moving forward.
Over the course of some 40 years, the lives of, Julia (Jules), Ethan, Cathy, Jonah and siblings Ash and Goodman are followed. If the group stays true to their promise, what happens when one member of the group makes it really big, and others are still trying to figure things out? From meaty topics like feminism, the AIDS crisis, sexual preference and 9/11, to the more common themes like marriage, children and careers, the author explores these issues and more in much detail.
Each of the characters were well developed and, while I thought that the story was way too long at over 500 pages, it was still a good audio book to listen to. The book was narrated by Jen Tullock who did a great job.
Throughout the story there were keen observations and raw emotions that really made you think about what each character was feeling at the time. Although I was expecting that some of the group would fare better than the others, I wasn't expecting as much tragedy as what was written into this story. This story demonstrated how some adults never do realize their full potential in life as a result of the things that happen to them as children. Although I couldn't relate to a lot of what these individuals experienced, it was still a story that made me reflect on my own life and the friendships that were made early on.