Tom Perrotta * Scribner * August 21, 2017 * 309 Pages
Eve Fletcher is in transition. She’s divorced, and her only son, Brendan, has just gone off to college. Her nest is officially empty, and she’s doing…fine? But she knows she needs to fill her time. Of course she has her work at the senior assisted living facility—which keeps her busy, but not quite fulfilled. So she takes a class at the local community college, meets some people, makes some friends.
She also develops a mild porn addiction.
And entertains sleeping with a boy (man?) her son’s age…
While also having a crush on her coworker, Amanda.
So yeah. She’s confused. Free…but figuring it out.
This book surprised me. After reading Little Children, I really expected more drama, more of a something to happen, especially at the end. But this book is a conversation. Or at least the beginning of one. It’s a push to see things differently, to question the “facts” (about gender and sex and aging and porn and parenting) you’ve taken for granted. Events don’t really happen here. Topics, issues, moments are explored.
Part of me did want more drama. I wanted something significant to happen, for the love. But I also appreciated the story as it was. Because the characters alone make this book compulsively readable, and I didn’t want to to put it down. I thought about Eve and Brendan and Amber and Julien when I was going about my day. They were on my mind, left me wondering. What happens next? What do I want to happen next? It’s just one of those stories that makes you think.
In short, this is an intriguing book. Thought-provoking and interesting, but not necessarily action-packed. It made me ponder and question, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I hoped for a more gripping ending, but I still finished the book feeling satisfied. Not a bad read, overall.
Advanced Reader Copy provided through Net Galley.