Modern Lovers by Emma Straub was my main pick for last month's Book of the Month Club and once again I was not disappointed. If you would like to be part of the Book of the Month Club, please click the link or the banner on the side and use the code "Summer30" to get 30% off a 3 month subscription, free sunglasses, and a tote!
I will admit that I didn't read The Vacationers by Emma Straub, so I wasn't immediately on the Straub bandwagon. I had heard good things, looked at the book often in the bookstore, but never pulled the trigger. When BotM offered this one, I knew I had to give it a go and I am so glad I did.
This is a wonderful story of three couples (or 4 if you look one way)- Elizabeth and Andrew, Zoe and Jane, and their children Ruby (Zoe and Jane's daughter) and Harry (Elizabeth and Andrew's son). There is a 4th relationship in Ruby and Dust, but Harry will intersect into that story.
In college, Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe, and Lydia were part of a band called Kitten's Mustache. The band was gained some fans in college, but at the death of Lydia the band split. Now older, Elizabeth and Andrew are married and are neighbors to Zoe and her wife Jane. Both couples are having problems. Andrew is caught up with a friend who owns a yoga studio, where Andrew now spends most of his time. Zoe and Jane are divorcing, yet own a successful restaurant together.
Throughout the story, a movie about Lydia is being discussed and movie producers want the blessing of the three other members of the band. Both Zoe and Elizabeth have signed on, only Andrew is the holdout. He won't say why, but there are suspicions that something happened in the past.
Another story is the budding romance of Harry and Ruby. Ruby is kind of a wild child who has often fallen for the wrong guy, especially her current boyfriend- Dust. Harry, who is pretty straight laced and takes SAT tutoring classes for fun, has had a crush on Ruby most of his life and when an opportunity to protect Ruby comes up, he takes it and their romance begins. Their parents find out about their relationship when they are arrested for having sex in a playground.
It is hard to describe the appeal of the story except to say that it is just great writing. The plots are there, but there isn't major drama behind them. The book is more of a look at love through multiple relationships- budding love in Harry and Ruby, a love falling apart in Zoe and Jane, a love on the edge of mistrust with Elizabeth and Andrew, the love of all of them as college students, and other friendships. This is a look into the lives of these friends and what happens as college students become older. Straub's story is just good. I read a different review of Straub's writing which stated Straub writes as if the neighbor is telling you a story about other neighbors. The book just works so much so that I ran out and got The Vacationers.
I gave this one 4 stars. There are a few dragging bits, but the characters are so well developed that it makes up for those parts as life isn't always exciting.
Here is the Amazon link- Modern Lovers by Emma Straub