17 May 2016

Today's Read: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

All About Modern Lovers by Emma StraubWhat happens when college sweethearts begin to question their life choices a couple decades into their marriage? Can they find a future together, even as the past pops up to haunt them?

In June, the book club was at Zoe's house, which meant that Elizabeth had to carry her heavy ceramic bowl of spinach salad with walnuts and bits of crumbled goat cheese a grand total of half a block. She didn't even have to cross a street. None of the dozen women in the group had to travel far; that was the point. It was hard enough to coordinate schedules and read a novel (though only half the group ever finished anything) without asking people to get on the subway. Make plans with your real friends on your own time, drive your car across the borough to have dinner if  you want to, but this was the neighborhood. This was easy.
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (Riverhead, 2016, opening sentences--uncorrected ARC)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times, Brooklyn; 1980s, Ohio
  • Circumstances: When in college at Oberlin, Elizabeth, Andrew, Lydia, and Zoe were in a band. Lydia went on to have a solo career after recording a hit single of one of Elizabeth's songs. Now, years after Lydia died of a drug overdose, a Hollywood producer wants the rights to the song and the late-singer's life story. Meanwhile Elizabeth, Andrew, and their son and Zoe, Jane, and their daughter are all at turning points: midlife crises, rocky marriages, and children on the brink of adulthood. Will anyone survive the inevitable stresses as past and present collide?
  • Characters: Elizabeth, a real estate agent; Andrew, a trust fund child; Harry, their son; Zoe and Jane, restaurant owners; Ruby, their daughter; Lydia, dead at 27 and the only one who became famous; various others from the past and present
  • Genre & themes: contemporary literary fiction; explores marriage, parenthood, life choices, teenagers, and dealing with the past.
  • Reviews & recommendations: Modern Lovers is winning starred reviews from everywhere, including Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and the Library Journal. The book is said to be a realistic and relatable story about families and two generations on the edge of change. The restaurant angle adds an extra layer of appeal to foodies. Straub generally captures human nature perfectly, and her newest novel promises to meet all my high expectations.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 5/17/16, 6:47 AM  

I love that visual that is created here. I like the protagonist already LOL

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 5/17/16, 7:36 AM  

This one is on my radar screen--hope you enjoy it.

JoAnn 5/17/16, 7:43 AM  

I loved her last book, The Vacationers, and look forward to reading this one. Hope you enjoy it!

Majanka Verstraete 5/17/16, 8:50 AM  

This author and book are new to me, but the book looks very cute and intriguing.

Here's my teaser.

Kathy Martin 5/17/16, 8:52 AM  

Sounds interesting. My teaser this week comes from The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard. Happy reading!

bermudaonion 5/17/16, 9:20 AM  

I think I'd like this book!

Alison DeLuca 5/17/16, 9:25 AM  

Lovely visual - and how often does a writer include 'taste' in their first paragraph?

Daryl 5/17/16, 9:53 AM  

interesting, she's Peter Straub's daughter ... love his horror stories and his collaborations with Stephen King ... and i think this sounds interesting ... thanks

Unknown 5/17/16, 10:00 AM  

This looks good! A perfect summer read. I hope to get to it this summer after it comes out.

Unknown 5/17/16, 11:20 AM  

This one's on my TBR list. Happy Reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow 5/17/16, 11:27 AM  

You had me at "book club," and then reeled me in with all the issues about family, marriage, children....and the challenges that come when the past and present collide. A story that could be about many of us. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE”

Vicki 5/17/16, 3:08 PM  

Sounds interesting!

Literary Feline 5/17/16, 3:13 PM  

This sounds like it could be a good one. I enjoy books in which the past comes back to haunt characters. And a part me can relate to the college sweethearts re-evaluating life choices twenty years into their marriage.

Cleopatra Loves Books 5/17/16, 3:22 PM  

I feel like I'm welcome at that book club from those first few lines - very interested to know more!

Margot 5/17/16, 4:59 PM  

The first paragraph tells me this could be fun - or maybe not. I'd need to read more before deciding.

The Candid Cover 5/17/16, 5:38 PM  

This sounds like a really enjoyable and light hearted read. I think that I will have to check it out sometime. I hope that you are enjoying it!

Here is my TT

Unknown 5/17/16, 9:59 PM  

Perfect one for my summer reading list!

My TT from The Fireman

Emma Litttlefield 5/18/16, 11:49 AM  

Most of my book club never finish the book either so definitely realistic! I do like the sound of this and would keep reading.

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