This weeks book review is of Emma Straub’s book Modern Lovers. I read the Dutch translation (library struggles…) and I’ll tell you more about what I thought.

First things first, here’s what the book’s about: 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 adults’ 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.

Also read: book review of Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

My thoughts on Modern Lovers

I have a hard time writing this review, to be honest. It isn’t because I didn’t like the book. But I didn’t love the book either.

The book is very well written, so I flew threw the pages and finished the book fast. It was a nice feeling.

But the book isn’t necessarily fast. Sometimes it dragged a bit. And there wasn’t something major happening, it was all a bit mellow. There was a long build-up towards the ending, but at the end it wasn’t a big blow-out like you would expect.

You can actually guess what’s going to happen in the build-up.

Each character has distinctive characters trades. Although I didn’t really like one person (okay, maybe only Jane), they weren’t bad people.

It really all comes down to: it was a bit meh. Meh characters, meh plot line, meh setting.

The only great thing was the writing, which made me add one star.

Final rating

⭐⭐⭐