The Interestings is an ambitious novel, unfolding from the Nixon Era to post-9/11, that follows a group of six friends who meet at a summer camp for the arts and, in a bout of youthful naivety and egotism, dub themselves “The Interestings.” Through the eyes of Jules Jacobsen, these friends – wealthy, successful Ethan and Ash; tortured Cathy; troubled, beautiful Jonah; and reckless Goodman – are the real interestings, she the wry outsider, and Jules lives her life with no small helping of envy. But as Jules and her “ordinary” husband struggle through children, bouts of depression, jobs lost and gained, and secrets kept, the novel turns a sharp eye to what really makes a life interesting – those children, those jobs, those secrets, your ordinary spouses and your ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) lives, which Wolitzer paints in one stunning, sprawling portrait. -Lauren's June Staff Pick, 2014
"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.