The Interestings; vivid, evocative and really bloody good

the interestingsMy rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

I hadn’t heard of Meg Wolitzer but when I read some of the reviews in The New York Times and The Telegraph, I discovered she is much-loved and regarded, in some circles, as highly as Jonathan Franzen and Hilary Mantel. So her story about six friends over the course of their lives  – The Interestings – seemed too good to resist. And by the time my Scribd trial had ended, half way through the book, these characters had so pervaded my head that I simply had to hunt down the book in any form possible, just to find out what they were up to.

The NY Times review described it as a book about ideas and that’s true. But each of the characters are so well drawn – gay, straight, male, female – that it really does what all great books do; it nails the daily feelings about love, envy and lust and makes you analyse your own feelings in relation to the characters and your own experiences. Just wonderful. What’s more, because it follows the characters from their teens to middle age, it’s a great book to read in January when most people are assessing their New Year’s resolutions and where they are in the world in relation to where they want to be. It made me laugh and made me cry; something that books rarely do at the same time. A brilliant book to start the year.

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