The Interestings (Paperback)
The summer after her father dies, Julie Jacobsen goes to the creative Spirit-of-the-Woods camp on a scholarship. There she meets a group of five others, most of whom will be her friends for life They call themselves the Interestings, a name that's a bit narcissistic, but then aren't teenagers a little self-absorbed? Julie becomes "Jules", and she and the beautiful, rich, and serious Ash are best friends. When Jules rejects the advances of gifted but physically unappealing Ethan Figman, he eventually turns to Ash. The novel takes the characters into middle age as they search for careers with meaning while they also try to make ends meet--except for Ethan anyway. He is rich, successful, and powerful but has his own issues to deal with. The drama surrounding Ash's brother Goodman and Cathy, another girl in camp, follows the Interestings for years to come. Taking the reader through several decades in New York and American history, Meg Wolitzer provides a story with well-drawn characters and is a realistic portrayal of life, love, and the pursuit of money.— Cynthia
"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) The New York Times-bestselling novel by Meg Wolitzer that has been called "genius" (The Chicago Tribune), "wonderful" (Vanity Fair), "ambitious" (San Francisco Chronicle), and a "page-turner" (Cosmopolitan), which The New York Times Book Review says is "among the ranks of books like Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot." 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.
About the Author
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel, Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.