‘The Interestings’ a novel about six summer camp friends


The Interestings, a new novel by Meg Wolitzer that officially released today, tells the story of six friends who meet at the fictional Spirit-In-the-Woods, a New England summer arts camp, in the ’70s and the bond they form that remains powerful throughout their journey into adulthood.

Bob Minzesheimer, in his review of the book on USA Today, describes the fictional camp where the friends meet as “the kind of artsy New England summer camp where theater and glass blowing and dance take the place of basketball or baseball. The campers care for llamas, work in the animation shed and are awakened each morning by a recording of Haydn’s Sunrise symphony.”

The description of the book:

In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.

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Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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