Title: Modern Lovers
Author: Emma Straub
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Page #: 356
Why I read it: I wanted something light and summery to read while I was traveling in Europe. I had originally gotten this as part of my BookCon 2016 haul and decided to read it based on the description it had on the inside cover.
Synopsis: Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.
Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults' lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.
Quote: “Why couldn't everyone stay young forever? If not on the outside, then just on the inside, where no one ever got too old to be optimistic.”
Positive Points: This book was a perfect read for while I was traveling in Europe. It was everything that I could have needed at that time, up to date enough so that I felt like it was similar to reading a friend's experience, but far enough removed from daily tasks so that I still had that feeling of escapism. The story was told from a variety of character perspectives, who all had such different personalities but all merged to still form this eclectic family bond. And the way that the separate miniature plot lines all merged into one at the end was really well done.
Not So Positive Points: There were only a few little things that I had some trouble with in this novel. One of which is that the connection between Lydia and her former band mates feels like a bit of a throwaway plot, and when it does become important it's fairly difficult to remember exactly what is going on.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this book. It's suited for all ages, from high school to well past middle aged, and it addresses problems and conflicts that arise at all walks of life. It ends with such a wonderful finish that just completely wraps up all storylines that it is one of the few books you can walk away satisfied with every outcome.