One of the main points in Meg Wolitzer’s novel, The Interestings, is that these people really aren’t so interesting. And that’s okay.
Now, don’t get me wrong because I loved this book. But it wasn’t because I fell in love the characters. In fact, I loved it more because the characters kinda sucked.
I don’t mean that Wolitzer wrote bad characters. Quite the opposite, she wrote some very unlikeable characters very well.
The Interestings follows a group of people from their days as awkward teens in summer art camp to when they become empty-nesters with college aged children. They meet in camp and immediately proclaim themselves “The Interestings”. One makes it big as a artist while others struggle to hold on to their creative streaks.
There’s a lot of sadness in The Interestings because the characters experience bad luck and make poor decisions. In short, they are unloveable but undoubtedly, relatable. Wolitzer’s ability to make our mundane insecurities interesting is a feat on its own.
If you enjoy sad-but-necessary, coming-of-age stories, I also recommend Starboard Sea and Speechless. If you’re looking for a tale that follows its characters from young to old, I recommend Alone in the Classroom.
Photo credits: secretforts.com