This book was just eh for me. I don’t typically go for beach reads, but the great illustrations on the cover and the glowing reviews had me hoping for something more. I did want to try something a bit lighter and lighter was exactly what I got. The book took me months to finish, definitely not a page-turner.
The story centers on friends and former college band mates Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe. They’ve watched one another marry, buy real estate, start businesses and grow families, all while trying to hold on to their youth. Back in the 80’s, the members of Kitty’s Mustache were much cooler. 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 adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally revealed—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them.
I’m a big fan of fiction that mirrors real life. I think that nuanced relationships and highlights of the human condition make some of the most gripping stories, but this story of middle-aged has beens was just kind of well… boring.
It seemed all very realistic I suppose, each character dealing with the perils of their age. Marriages that are fizzling out, mid-life crises that led to secrets, teenaged rebellion and sexual exploration. Everything made sense, but none of it made me want to care. All of the characters problems seemed so trivial and the book lacked a real character arch of any kind. The conflicts were riddled with clichés. There was little evidence of evolution or discovery. It seemed more like a journal of six different characters’ point of view, which left me feeling like I couldn’t really get connected to any of them. I think diving into one and exploring the depth of that person would have been a better choice, instead the book felt choppy and hard to follow. That mixed with a slow plot, made it a snooze.