Book Review: The Interestings & Ladies’ Night

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings

Official Description: The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.
The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life

My Take: 4 out of 5. This was a wonderfully crafted book. It spans over 40 years in the life of these 6 people, but it always keeps it interesting, no pun intended. I really enjoyed their take on relationships and friendships, how it is not all what it seems but how even with changing odds and changing times, relationships grow to that too.  I really liked the character of Ethan and even Ash, Jules on the other hand was a bit infuriating. Definitely not a heroine to root for, yet, her flaws made the book all the more interesting.  A great read for all, yet definitely not light reading.

Some of my book highlighted quotes:

  • jealousy was essentially “i want what you have” while envy was “I want what you have, but i also want to take it away so you cant have it”
  • The world will probably whittle your daughter down. But a mother never should

Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews

Ladies' Night

Official Description: Take a splash of betrayal, add a few drops of outrage, give a good shake to proper behavior and take a big sip of a cocktail called…Ladies’ Night!
Grace Stanton’s life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricey sports car straight into the family swimming pool.  Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style.  Moving in with her widowed mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called The Sandbox, is less than ideal.  So is attending court-mandated weekly “divorce recovery” therapy sessions with three other women and one man for whom betrayal seems to be the only commonality.  When their “divorce coach” starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday “Ladies’ Night” sessions at The Sandbox, and the unanticipated bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try and find closure in ways they never imagined.  Can Grace figure out a new way home and discover how strong she needs to be to get there?
Heartache, humor, and a little bit of mystery come together in a story about life’s unpredictable twists and turns.  Mary Kay Andrews’ Ladies’ Night will have you raising a glass and cheering these characters on.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5. A thoroughly enjoyable chick lit book. As a blogger i really enjoyed that Grace, the main character, is also a blogger. More than that she is one who has made a significant living out of it. It was great to see.  There was some strong character development, and the evolution of the “ladies nights” therapy session uncovered pieces of each character in such a way that it kept you interested and wanting for more. It is a very easy read, i read it in just a day, and therefore a quick and satisfying read – perfect for the beach and vacation, which was where I read it.

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