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The Resource Modern lovers, Emma Straub

Modern lovers, Emma Straub

Label
Modern lovers
Title
Modern lovers
Statement of responsibility
Emma Straub
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"From the New York Times' bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college--their own kids now going to college--and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in. Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band's heyday, 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 let loose--about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them--can never be reclaimed. Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions--be they food, or friendship, or music--never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us"--
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Back at Oberlin, ages ago, Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe, and Lydia were bandmates enjoying their heady, collegiate microfame as Kitty’s Mustache, until they graduated and moved on. Among them, Lydia rocketed out highest and fastest, getting famous and dying at age 27. Now a Hollywood producer wants to buy the group’s life-rights for a forthcoming Lydia biopic, and Elizabeth and Andrew, wife and husband, are on opposite sides of the issue. Further down the Brooklyn block, marital woes have Zoe and her wife, Jane, out to sea, too, as they wonder if they should stay together, and what will happen to their restaurant and beloved old Victorian home if they don’t. Added to the pile of worries is the budding relationship between Elizabeth and Andrew’s son, Harry, and Zoe and Jane’s recent high-school graduate, Ruby, teens who practically grew up together. As their puzzles come together, become more complicated, and begin to resolve, we see Straub’s fortysomethings fascinated by their alien children (irresistible characters), by the speed at which their own youth is leaving them, and by the absurdities of their various decades-long partnerships. As in her smash-hit The Vacationers (2013), Straub’s handful of characters, followed with alternating close third-person narratives, are honestly and devilishly observed with clarity and kindness. -- Bostrom, Annie (Reviewed 4/15/2016) (Booklist, vol 112, number 16, p22)
  • /* Starred Review */ Back in the 1980s at Oberlin College, in Ohio, Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe, and Lydia had a band called Kitty’s Mustache. Elizabeth wrote a song called “Mistress of Myself”; Lydia sang it and made it famous, but she died of a heroin overdose at age 27. Two decades later, Elizabeth and Andrew are married and have a son, Harry. Living nearby in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park neighborhood are Zoe and her wife, Jane, with their daughter, Ruby. They own a neighborhood restaurant called Hyacinth. Midlife crises are roiling both marriages: Zoe and Jane are considering divorce; Andrew, the scion of wealthy parents, has never held a meaningful job and is now bemoaning his failure to find fulfillment, and Elizabeth sells real estate in Ditmas and feels responsible for everyone. To further complicate matters, teenagers Harry and Ruby suddenly discover sex. Into this volatile mix comes a Hollywood producer who’s making a movie about Lydia and urgently needs the former band members to sign over their rights to the iconic song. Straub (The Vacationers) spins her lighthearted but psychologically perceptive narrative with a sure touch as she captures the vibes of midlife, middle-class angst and the raging hormones of youth. Straub excels in establishing a sense of place: the narrative could serve as a map to gentrified Brooklyn; it’s that detailed and visually clear. Events move at a brisk pace, and surprises involving resurgent passion enliven the denouement. Readers will devour this witty and warmly satisfying novel. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME Entertainment. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 03/14/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 11, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Middle-aged parents and hormone-addled teenagers all have some growing up to do—entertainingly—in the course of one hot Brooklyn summer. Straub's last novel, The Vacationers (2014), took place on Mallorca and was a perfect vacation between two covers. Her new book is set in a grittier locale, but in Straub's fond gaze, it too feels like an enchanted land out of a Shakespearan comedy: "Ditmas Park was great in the summertime. The sycamores and oaks were full and wide, leaving big pools of shade along the sidewalks. Families were on their porches…Neighbors waved." She takes us inside two of the area's rambling yet run-down Victorian houses and introduces their owners: Elizabeth, a real estate agent, and Andrew, whose family trust has allowed him to get to his late 40s without much of a career, and their sweet son, Harry; and Zoe and Jane, who own a busy restaurant and live with their daughter, Ruby, who describes herself as having a "bad attitude." Years ago, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe were in a band together at Oberlin, which would have been completely forgotten except that their fourth band mate, Lydia, had a smash hit as a solo artist with one of Elizabeth's songs, "Mistress of Myself," before dying of an overdose. Now Hollywood has come calling, wanting to make a movie about Lydia, but for some reason Andrew doesn't want to sell their rights to the song. Meanwhile, Zoe thinks she wants a divorce, Harry and Ruby start sleeping together when they're supposed to be studying for the SAT, Andrew is hanging out at a creepy yoga studio, and Elizabeth frets that their idyllic life might be changing and tries to hold them all together. In chapters whose points of view rotate among the players, Straub pays close and loving attention to what foods her characters eat, what they have hanging on their walls, where their money comes from and goes, and the subtle fluctuations of their varying relationships. She's a precise and observant writer whose supple prose carries the story along without a snag. Straub's characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it's a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10481462
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Straub, Emma
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3619.T74259
LC item number
M63 2016
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Middle-aged persons
  • Parent and adult child
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Target audience
adult
Label
Modern lovers, Emma Straub
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
356 pages
Isbn
9781594634673
Lccn
2016002756
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 925397946
  • (OCoLC)925397946
Label
Modern lovers, Emma Straub
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
356 pages
Isbn
9781594634673
Lccn
2016002756
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 925397946
  • (OCoLC)925397946

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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