“Why couldn’t everyone stay young forever? If not on the outside, then just on the inside, where no one ever got too old to be optimistic.”
― Emma Straub,
Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe met in college when they formed the band Kitty’s Mustache with band mate, Lydia. Elizabeth and Andrew quickly became a couple, Zoe was the mysterious lesbian that everyone wanted to sleep with, and Lydia kept everyone at arm’s length (besides Andrew who she was good friends with). When the group disbanded, Lydia became a star and quickly faded.
Fast forward many years in the future. The gang is nearing fifty and Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe live in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn. Their cool grunge lifestyles have been replaced by financial difficulties, marital woes, and raising children. Zoe and her partner, Jane, have been struggling in their marriage and to top it off their ostentatious daughter Ruby has started a relationship with Elizabeth and Andrew’s son harry.
Dealing with their son growing up is one thing, but when Elizabeth is contacted by a film producer interested in making a film about Lydia’s life, it causes some tension between Elizabeth and Andrew. The producer wants Elizabeth to allow the film to use the song she wrote and also for the three remaining band members to allow their lives to be portrayed in the film. Elizabeth and Zoe are on board, but Andrew isn’t interested in reviving that chapter in his life. As the summer unfolds, all three couples will struggle with their relationships with one another, their future, and keeping the past in the past.
I read SO MANY mixed reviews on this book. Some people thoroughly did not like it. I am one of the readers who thoroughly enjoyed it! This is the first book I have read by Emma Straub. I think her character development is phenomenal. I was truly interested in the lives of all the main characters and I was anxious to find out what would happen to the characters the whole time! A lot of reviewers thought the characters were a little annoying; I didn’t feel this way once. They felt real to me. Straub also did a great job at capturing the comfortable small moments between friends and lovers and how different people deal with the challenges in their lives.
It isn’t an action packed page turner, but it is an enjoyable and well-written book that will make you smile and maybe even chuckle every once in a while. I gave this book an almost perfect score because I was extremely invested in the lives of the characters the entire time. I would definitely recommend this book, but I’m also curious about everyone else’s thoughts? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments!