Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

3.5 Stars

My face the entire time I was reading Modern Lovers . . . .

(Aren’t I adorable?)

Let’s just snag a little quotey quote from the book in order to explain what you’re getting into with this one, shall we?

“The novel will be inspired by the tropes of classic love stories such as Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde, set in modern-day Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, with two neighboring families falling in and out of love simultaneously.”

The families in question are Elizabeth, Andrew and their son Harry, as well as Zoe, Jane and their daughter Ruby. The now middle-aged adults have been friends since college, when they (along with Lydia, rest her soul) became one-hit wonders with a little diddy called “Mistress of Myself.” Lydia’s membership in the 27 Club finds a Hollywood producer requesting the remaining bandmates to sign off on the story. And that’s where our tale begins. Readers quickly discover the much sought after “life rights” are merely a jumping off point in order for us to get involved in the lives of Zoe and Jane, restaurateurs on the brink of divorce – Elizabeth and Andrew, a successful real estate agent and her manboy husband – and Harry and Ruby, former playmates as toddlers – potential sex partners as teens.

This isn’t anything that’s going to change your life, but much like The Vacationers my reaction upon finishing was . . . . .

I have to say, Straub is a master when it comes to making the location be almost like an additional character. Last year she made me dream of vacationing in Mallorca. This year she has me wanting to rob a bank in order to purchase an old house in Brooklyn . . . .

It appears as though Straub has found a formula for her stories. While sometimes this gets tiring or seems kitschy (*cough Dean Koontz and the god blasted dog cough*), her ensemble casts and detailed settings have made my experience with her books two for two. If you’re looking for a summer read, this one might be a winner – especially if you’re like me and are no long allowed to use the waterslide due to last year’s unfortunate incident . . . .

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