Modern Lovers by Emma Straub is authentic and honest and full of coming-of-age truths. Last year I read Straub’s bestselling book, The Vacationers, and I really didn’t like it. Despite this, I wanted to give her new book, Modern Lovers, a chance and I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it.
The story focuses on a group of friends who were in a band together during college as they face middle age in New York City. Seeing that their children are on the brink of adulthood puts there own lives into focus and a series of fiascos ensue.
The fourth band mate from all those years ago, Lydia, broke apart from the band and found fame before dying in her 20’s. Now, just as the remaining band members are on the verge of mid-life crises, a production studio wants to create a movie of Lydia’s life, which in turn unearths some old secrets from their college years that they might not be ready to face…
Here are a few of the quotes that stood out to me:
“Choices were easy to make until you realized how long life could be.”
“There was nothing about youth that was fair; the young hadn’t done anything to deserve it, and the old hadn’t done anything to drive it away.”
“Andrew wanted to cry, thinking of all the things he’d deprived his son of, just because he hadn’t thought to do them.”
“Urgency was for younger people…”
“Timing was everything – that was more and more obvious the older you got, when you finally understood that the universe wasn’t held together in any way that made sense.”
I like to think of Modern Lovers as a coming-of-age story for multiple generations. It’s definitely a good book and I recommend it for the summer!