People evolve. People change. Not dramatically, but let’s face it, we all are much different than we were in college. At least I hope I am! We settle into new circumstances, surroundings, and relationships. In the book Modern Lovers by Emma Straub, the characters’ conflicts emerge because they cannot let go of their pasts. They are stuck. They never quite moved on from their glory days of college, despite being almost 50. Perhaps they could have moved on, but the old demons can’t fade away, because they remain in the relationships from the college years. What really cements them, though, is a song. As part of a semi-successful band they were a part of in college, one of the characters wrote a song which was immortalized as a timeless, one-hit-wonder classic. Decades later, Hollywood wants to recreate their college days in a movie featuring the song. They are torn about whether they want this to happen. It actually sounds great to me! Does someone want to make a movie about my life and give me boatloads of money for it (if I had done anything remotely interesting!)? I’m in! (May I please have Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, or Julia Roberts play me? I wish!) But with this crew, they continue to hold onto their pasts – and fret about their secrets – because of the possibility of it being recreated on the big screen. They all have little twists and mysteries from their histories, and from their current lives.
This book is very enjoyable and thoroughly modern, which I found so refreshing. As much as I love historical fiction and stories set in the past, I loved the current, Brooklyn-dwelling, non-traditional family characters in the book. The author allows the reader to become so comfortable with each of them, and has you rooting for a peaceful outcome for all. She captures all of the characters’ personalities carefully and with great humor, from the angst-filled, bitter teenager to the middle-aged moms. This is a really enjoyable read, and I definitely will be reading Emma Straub’s other books like The Vacationers, Other People We Married, and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures.
Staff of Wellington Square Book Shop