For many people high school years are the ones to look back at as the best years of their lives. For the group that call themselves, ‘The Interestings,‘ their time at summer art’s camp, Spirit of the Woods, is what they look back at most fondly. This was the place where they all met, where they felt the most accepted and understood.
The book starts with the story of Jules Jacobson. She is moderately talented and overwhelmed by her fabulous luck- she has fallen into a group of friends whom she looks up to and never feels quite good enough for. Her group of friends includes the brother and sister duo, Ash and Goodman and the artist, Ethan Figman who ends up being the most successful member of the group.
Meg Wolitzer reminds us of what it feels like to be an out of place teen. The writing moves into the awkward twenties effortlessly, including shaky decisions and an alleged crime. The characters crash into and away from each other in unpredictable and touching ways and are throughout most of the story attempting to become and then remain the best versions of themselves. ‘The Interestings‘ is a powerful epic, reminiscent of John Irving’s The World According to Garp.
The narrator of the audio book is Jen Tullock. She manages to create subtle nuances between the voices of the numerous characters without ever sounding cartoonish or impish. The audio runs a whopping 15hrs and 41min and it is not a moment too long. The loss of one of the major characters rings as true as the presentation of the annoying habits, mental disorders and jealousies of other characters.