The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Publication Date: April 2013
Categories: Contemporary Women, Literary

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. 

My Thoughts:

Here’s the deal: I loved this book. I want to hug, kiss, marry this book.

I can’t love an inanimate object? Ohhh yes I can.

This group of kids meet up at a fancy pants art camp every summer. They dub themselves “The Interestings” because they are pretty damn full of themselves. You would think that this would be a turn off. But it’s NOT. Guess what? They are interesting.

I adored every character in this book. Some are easy to love. A few are easy to hate.  There are famous mothers, abusive pasts, shameful backgrounds, a possible crime, unrequited love…I could go on.

I’ve got money to burn. How you like me now?

The bonds that these kids form in their youth will stay with them throughout their lives. Two of them find success beyond their wildest dreams. One character loses himself. A few are forced to give up on their aspirations because of forces beyond their control.

The way these friendships form, stretch, and break is marvelous. The Interestings is an engaging character study and a truly unputdownable story.
Read this book. Seriously!

44 thoughts on “The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

  1. Excellent, concise review! I loved it too.I'll look forward to your review of Movement of Stars. The cover looks so pretty I feel like it's bound to be good (Shallow, I know :))KellyPS: I'm reading Z now and loving it. Highly recommend!


  2. Thanks Kelly 🙂 Unfortunately I set The Movement of Stars aside. It wasn't speaking to me. It wasn't AWFUL, but it wasn't the book for me. I've heard great things about Z, I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on that one!


  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've been umm-ing and ahh-ing about this book, and now I think I'll give it a try.


  4. I think it's the fact that they sound pretentious, and therefore it sounds a bad book, that actually makes it appealing. I like that they stayed friends despite only seeing each other once a year, too. That can be difficult when you're a kid.


  5. I really liked her book The Ten Year Nap and I really want to read this one because, hello, theatre kid here! But my giant stack of library books says that I cannot get this one quite yet…sigh.


  6. This has been on my list for ages – I loved The Wife and enjoyed The Uncoupling and generally think Meg Wolitzer is all sorts of awesome – ahhh so much to read so little time!


  7. I initially passed on this one and then was convinced to read/listen to it. I have to say, after finishing 60 percent of the novel, I fear my gut instinct was correct. It really is not calling me at all, and I'm getting thoroughly annoyed at the fact that she can't seem to just say one name but has to say each character's full name. It isn't just Jonah but Jonah Bay, not Ash but Ash Wolf. I'll keep at it but it's going to take a lot for me to give it such a ringing endorsement.


  8. Sounds like a fun read … :)The second pic, of the girl kissing the tree, is a bit disturbing to me, but in a funny way. I can't look at it!


  9. I just heard an interview on NPR with Wolitzer about this book. Based upon that as well as your comments this sounds like a great character study. I also tend to like stories that follow old friends over time.


  10. Wolitzer has been popping up everywhere I look online. Not sure if I'm ready to take on another \”lifetime friendship\” book after Girlfriend in a Coma but I'll think about it.


  11. It sounds like it's not the book for you Michelle. You know what's funny? I normally go bonkers when people overuse full names like that. It's a pet peeve of mine. It's bizarre that I didn't even notice it in this book!


  12. Great review! It sounds fantastic to the max. Will have to read it when I crawl out from under the pile of books I have to review!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s