Monday, 6 February 2017

Review: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults' lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Review: This truly is exactly what is says on the tin, it is a story of love in the modern time and how work life, social life and social media life can make that a damn sigh trickier than it should be. I loved the setting of this book and also the issues dealt with but something about the mix and the number of characters left a little something to be desired for me and so this book wasn't as good as I hoped it was going to be. 

I really liked the structure of the book in that there were various chapters dedicated to each character and so we got to hear their version of an event and how they were coping with things that had just happened to them. I also liked the storyline being composed of characters that had been intertwined for an extended period of time. I felt a little like I wanted to know more of the history of the people in question, like I'd arrived late at a party, but I think that part of the storyline was done deliberately as things did begin to unfold gradually over time. 

In terms of characters, I struggled a little to remember who was who and so I think this affected my enjoyment of the book as a whole but then I did end up listening to this one on audiobook and this may not have happened had I read the physical copy of the book that I checked out the library. I liked the fact that there was an LGBTQ element to this, re-affirming once again that this book is about modern lovers and modern families. I also liked that fact that there were young people involved, showing that the pressures of modern society on relationships affects new relationships, old relationship, young relationships and more mature relationships too. 

Overall I feel that this author has done a good job of providing a storyline that fits the nature of marriage and relationships, as well as family life in today's society. I thought that the setting and the events that happen throughout the book were strong but I struggled to keep track of the characters and therefore struggled to make a bond with any of them and I think that that is why this book wasn't as entertaining as I'd hoped it would be.

To get your copy of Modern Lovers, just click here!

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