That title isn’t an insult. I’m in my early thirties, but the spouse and I have been together since I was 18, so even though the main characters have a few years on me, a lot of this felt familiar. The whole book felt kind of familiar – the characters, the plot points, the story beats, the writing itself – but in a good way. It’s like a Kate Spade dress. Nothing life changing, but comfortable and well crafted.
We follow the three living members of a 90s college band whose greatest claim to fame was launching the career of their Madonna-like lead singer as a solo act, via an iconic song written by one of our protagonists, Elizabeth. The tension comes from her husband – one of the other two band members – refusing permission to have their story dramatized on film. In retrospect it’s easy to guess why, but this isn’t the kind of book you read to keep you guessing.
Straub does an admirable job of writing both the gen-x couples and their children well, and doing justice to the depth of young love as well as the more pedestrian “been together forever, I know all your punchlines and you’ve heard all my anecdotes” adult relationships, while showing how childishness and maturity don’t necessarily correlate with age.
Again, solidly recommend this. Sometimes you want a ball gown, sometimes you want a comfy sweater. This is definitely the latter, but a damn fine one.