Jam Gallahue loved a boy–fiercely and deeply–and then she lost him. Before the 41 days that she knew him, she had no idea she could need someone so much, but after, she needed him all the time. Except she couldn’t have him, because he was dead: gone forever. Or so she thought. At The Wooden Barn, a boarding school for “emotionally fragile and highly intelligent” teenagers, Jam starts out as she has been for the past year: inconsolable, uninterested, stuck. She doesn’t think much of Special Topics in English, the exclusive, supposedly transformative class she’s been selected to join, or its roster of merely five students. At least not until she has an inexplicable experience – one that only these five peers, each uniquely broken, can understand. Studying the life works of Sylvia Plath and chronicling their pain in journals, Jam and her Special Topics classmates have all visited Belzhar, a miraculous place – a place where the untainted past is restored, and where Jam can feel her first love’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss …revelations expertly and deliciously crafted by the supremely talented, bestselling Meg Wolitzer.
From bestselling author Meg Wolitzer a dazzling, panoramic novel about what becomes of early talent, and the roles that art, money, and even envy can play in close friendships. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.