Saturday, July 2, 2016

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

In their 20’s, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe were fierce musicians with an effortless cool and a college band with just enough fame to suit them. As they graduate and settle in their quiet Brooklyn neighborhood, they spend the easy years watching their friends marry, have children, get jobs, and set down roots, somehow managing to keep an almost impossible feeling of youthfulness between them.

Until a movie studio approaches the group about a Hollywood biopic of their former band mate who made it big. And their children are suddenly no longer children - seemingly in the blink of an eye - beginning to explore the world of almost adulthood their parents could have sworn they had just inhabited themselves.

Straub beautifully captures the suddenness of middle age and the newness of adulthood in the small, intimate details of a group of friends and their teenage children. The characters feel real - in that you can imagine being friends with and wanting to smack some sense into them (often in equal measure). Each character struggles on the precipice of a new chapter, and the feelings of hope, longing, and apprehension are beautifully illustrated and viscerally felt. It's an interesting mix of coming of age and coming to terms. Definitely recommended to anyone that enjoys thoughtful, character driven stories.

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