Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer...

How I Heard About It:  I heard about this novel when it came out in 2013.  It was raved about in several publications.  I bought the hard cover and began reading.  The story didn't grab me right away and I put the novel aside.  Recently I started to listen to books on Audio during my commute to and from work.  When I saw this title at the local library, I decided to give it another try. It was my second audio book.

What It Is About:  Even though the novel is only 468 pages, it is an epic story that covers a lot of ground.  There is so much that happens that it is going to be difficult to summarize it here.  The main plot is about six high school kids that meet at a creative arts summer camp in New York.  Their names are Jules, Ash and Wolf Goodman, Ethan, Kathy, and Jonah.  While at camp they form their own little social circle and name themselves "The Interestings."  The story follows their lives from the days at camp to their adult lives when they have their own grown children.  The time from spans from the 1970's to many years after 9/11.  During these years they are relationships that develop, relationships that end, marriage, children, accusations of rape, death, and so much more.  The central characters throughout the book are Jules and her new husband Dennis, along with Ash and Ethan from the days of summer camp.  While at summer camp the group of "Interestings" want to conquer the world and show them what they are made up.  As this cast of characters move through life learn that some of them are capable of this goal and some of them will always fall short.  

What I Thought Of It:  As I mentioned above, I struggled a bit when I first tried to read the actual book.  It could have just been the timing of it.  When I began to listen to it on CD, I knew right away that I was going to love the story.  And love the story I did.  It is an epic story of friendship, family, and all that comes with it.  I liked all of the six main characters and enjoyed traveling with them throughout their lives.  There were many moments when I actually gasped while listening because I was shocked at what was happening to these people.  As I neared the end of the story, I became a bit sad because I didn't want to be done.  I had felt that I had become part of "The Interestings."

Who Should Read It:   This is such a great story that I would recommend it to all of my reading friends.  The beginning is a bit slow and difficult to get into to, but once the reader commits to the story, the payoff is so worth it.  All readers that like to read about people's friendships, relationships, and all the difficulties (and successes) that life has to offer, will definitely devour this novel.  Happy Reading!

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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