What I'm Reading: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Warning: This post may contain spoilers

One of my New Years Resolutions was to read more in 2014 and I just finished reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer which was the January book selection for A Beautiful Mess' online book club. The story follows the lives of (primarily) four friends who meet at a summer arts camp called Spirit in the Woods in the 1970s as they grow into adulthood: there's Ethan- the ugly one who is a brilliant illustrator and the moral compass of the group; Ash- the pretty one from a well-to-do family and seems to have had success handed to her as she becomes a playwright; Jules- the awkward comedian who attends camp on scholarship and longs to be an actress, but instead becomes a social worker; and Jonah- the son of a folk-singer and has the talent to be a musician himself, but an incident from his past leads him away from music and towards engineering.

One of the ironic things about the title is how un-interesting and ordinary the characters are (which isn't to say that this is not an interesting read). Although I myself did not ever attend a summer camp and I'm of another generation, it was easy to relate to these characters at times and to relate these characters to people I have known. Perhaps the most interesting character of the bunch is Julie aka Jules who starts of as the outsider of the bunch, but for reasons unknown the group decides to let her in. However later in life, as Ethan and Ash become successful in the arts Jules again plays the outsider as her friends become wealthy but she is not.

This book touches on many heavy themes such as the idea of classism, jealousy, and feminism and there is an incident that happens at the end of their summer-camp days that leaves us to question the morality of one family.

If you've read the book, you can join in the discussion on A Beautiful Mess and if you'd like to join in on February's book, they are reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It looks like a tear jerker! 

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