Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Little, Brown and Company via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).
Review: The life we experience as an adult rarely resembles what we imagined in our youth. Sometimes we don’t get what we want. Or we get what we didn’t want. Or we find out too late that we really did want something after all. These are the realities presented to the four friends in this lovely book by Alice Adams.
Having met in college, the friendship of this foursome is tested over and over again, as they move forward in their adult lives, often in very different directions. Missed signals, old jealousies, and fear of messing up what they already have leads to missed chances and misunderstandings. But there is always hope. If something is meant to be, if a relationship – friendship or otherwise – is true, second and even third chances may present themselves. And sometimes the things we thought we needed turn out not to be as important as we once imagined. It is amazing what we can actually live without. And no matter what, we can always find a way to put our lives back together, particularly if we have the right people in our lives. Those were some of the strongest messages I got from the book.
This is a very character-driven, sort of coming of age story (spanning roughly twenty years). And I have to say that I truly love a well-written, character-driven tale. Although I don’t envy the struggles of any of these characters, I would have loved to have had a legacy of friendship like theirs.
I’ve read several other reviews that mention that it is a bit on the slow side. It’s true this isn’t a fast-paced page turner, but I don’t really feel as though it is meant to be. We’re meant to steep in the minds of these characters, watching them develop over time, getting to know them well enough that we can empathize with them and forgive them their flaws, to see a reflection of ourselves in their experiences.
And it is one of those books that leaves you satisfied. Everything is tied up enough at the end, but in a more realistic way than is typical. I enjoyed it. And I think you will, too.