*Book given by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
A love triangle between two college friends and a charismatic professor alters the lives of everyone involved in this razor-sharp novel.
Fiona and Liv are seniors at Buchanan College, a small liberal arts school in rural Pennsylvania. Fiona, who is still struggling after the death of her younger sister, is spending her final year sleeping with abrasive men she meets in bars. Liv is happily coupled and on the fast track to marriage with an all-American frat boy. Both of their journeys, and their friendship, will be upended by the relationships they develop with Oliver Ash, a visiting literature professor whose first novel was published to great success at the age of twenty-six.
Now Oliver is in his early forties, with thinning hair, rugged good looks, and a checkered past–there is talk of a relationship with an underage woman, a former student, at a previous teaching job. Meanwhile, Oliver’s wife, Simone, is pursuing an academic research project in Berlin, raising their five-year-old son, dealing with her husband’s absence, and wondering if their marriage is beyond repair. This sly, stunning, wise-beyond-its-years novel is told from the perspectives of the three women, and showcases Berman’s talent for exploring the complexities of desire, friendship, identity, and power dynamics in the contemporary moment. –goodreads.com
What I Liked
One of the major things that drew me to the book was the mention of a college setting. I really liked the section of time we witness the lives of the main characters Fiona and Liv. The college experience and time, especially the final year, are always filled with tough decisions and a lot of life changes and I feel like it really gives the characters a lot of opportunities of growth. But, I also liked that the author tied in another character at a different stage in her life. I felt like it gave the book a balance of changes and discussion you can face while getting ready to live college and the discussions you face while you have a life already built.
The writing in this book was really well done, the style flowed nicely and when I read I read for a decent amount of time. I also liked how the author dealt with some of the hard topics, such as a death of a sibling. It was done, in my opinion, a real way. When it came to some of the issues that these ladies faced, they weren’t the most relatable, but it was interesting to see how the characters reacted. Even though they were not personally relatable, they are problems that some people do face. Also, I would like to applaud the author for being able to keep track of all the obstacles faced by everyone, it shows the strength in her writing.
What I Didn’t Like
I am not a huge fan of dislikable characters, but I know there are a lot of readers who do. So, this is a book review where what I don’t like about it will actually draw you to this book. I love when that happens! But, my dislike of the character did not lead me to dislike this book, I still was invested enough to want to know how everything plays out.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was like reading a rollercoaster. There were times I really didn’t enjoy the characters, but I feel like this is a strength in some people eyes. Plus, for me the fact I still enjoyed the book with that really shows how wonderful of a writer the author is. I feel like this would be a good read for those who have no issue reading about some of the tough things talked about in this book and like a book with a lot going on,
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Publisher: Random House
List Price: $27.00
Pages: 387 pages