It is the mark of mental and emotional engagement when, upon waking, your first thought is of the penultimate scene between characters of that book last night. This winter has been cold, and will turn colder, but the human integrity of Meg Wolitzer's central characters, Jules, Ethan and Ash, warms the sheets wherein you huddle up and read about them.
The three friends, of the original six who meet in an arts camp in the '60s, are frequently charming, generous and loyal to a fault, yet also surprising in their dishonesty and ability to harm. All of which make them so human, and so identifiable. The story follows these central figures, and keeps up with a few others, as they grow from their teens into adulthood and, eventually, death.
A highly recommended book if there ever was one. On my bookshelf, it's right up there with Stoner (John Williams) and Freedom (Jonathan Franzen).
A few quotes fromThe Interestings :
'The minute you had children, you closed ranks. You didn't plan this in advance, but it happened. Families were like individual, discrete, moated island nations.'
'He'd been lulled and snared by the pulsing screen and the promise of money begetting more money. It happened to people all the time; it had happened to him.'
'But if she does really, really want it, and if she seems to have a talent for it, then I think you should tell her, "That's wonderful." Because the truth is, the world will probably whittle your daughter down. But a mother never should.'