Wednesday, 18 December 2013
THE INTERESTINGS by Meg Wolitzer
Wolitzer is an insightful writer, and gave me much to think about. Here she is on a young man's relationship to his mother's boyfriend: " . . it was more father-son than Jonah imagined, for he felt greatly ambivalent about Barry, which was the way most sons seemed to feel about their fathers" And here she is on on a woman's affection for her failure of a brother: "It wasn't twinship, and it wasn't romance, but it was more like a passionate loyalty to a dying brand." She is also quite funny; here is a young man being shown his girlfriend's father's amateur drawings: "Ethan murmured something appropriate for each drawing he came to. It was like an extremely stressful game show, called Say the Right Thing, You Idiot."
In the end, Jules manages to fall out of the love with the group; and you feel both happy and sad for her. She anyway thinks she has made the right choice: "But, she knew, you didn't have to marry your soulmate, and you didn't even have to marry an Interesting. You didn't always need to be the dazzler, the firecracker, the one who cracked everyone else up, or made everyone want to sleep with you, or be the one who wrote and starred in the play that got the standing ovation. You could cease to be obsessed with the idea of being interesting."
I can't decide if this is maturing or settling.