The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

the-interestingsSee? This is what happens when I clean off my desk. I read The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer weeks ago and then dutifully shelved the book, and in the process I forgot to actually write the review. My thoughts are no longer fresh, but I will try my best.

The Interestings is about a group of young people who meet at a summer arts camp. The novel traces the lives of this group of six individuals as they grow, marry, have children and move into middle-agedom. Throughout this period there are some key friendships, but also some shifts. And of course, at the heart of it all there is a scandal. If you know me then you know that this novel is right up my alley.

What impressed me most about The Interestings, however, was the writing. For some reason, I had always slotted Wolitzer into the category of chick lit without having read her. Boy, was I wrong. And I should have known how wrong I was when Wolitzer called out the New York Times on their gender bias in book reviews. Wolitzer is a first class literary writer. She has a straight forward sensibility and draws characters beautifully.

Who would like this book? If you like a novel with a strong ensemble cast, then The Interestings is your book. The characters and the friendships in the book highlight many of social movements of the later half of the twentieth century. That is to say, The Interestings was not written in a vacuum. Wolitzer was clearly aware of the world surrounding her characters and brought that into the story. I think this would be a perfect read for a book club of long standing friends who came of age together during the 1970s and 80s.

Have you read The Interestings? What did you think? Send me a link to your review and I will include it in my post.

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