The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

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In the summer of 1974 Julie Jacobson’s life changes forever. In attempt to escape her dreary home life in New Jersey, she wins a drama scholarship to Spirit-inThe-Woods summer camp for gifted children.

There she is chosen to become one of The Interestings, a group of six friends and will be known as Jules for the rest of her life.Meg Wotzer follows the lives of all six from 1974 through adolescent traumas to college and on into adulthood, marriage and then middle age.

Wolitzer shows us that life’s journey is unexpected.  Both success and love are hard to predict . Women struggle to find their identities particularly in the world of work  What does a woman have to do to be seen as a serious person? wonders one of the female characters trying to break into theatre production.

Jules never loses the sense of not quite belonging she felt from the moment she was asked to join The Interestings. Even in her adult life she finds contentment and fulfilment difficult to obtain.She envies the sense of entitlement that others in the group seem to have and carry with them on into adulthood.

The book has some very witty observations of middle class life and recreates perfectly that far away time before the internet when even to use the phone at home could be a struggle against parental edict. A funny wry and often moving look at what it means to be alive.

 

 

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