A synopsis of the book on its cover reads: “three strangers are thrown together in one Manhattan apartment: a solitary writer; a Gen Z college drop-out; and a spirited parrot named Eureka.” Yes and no – yes, some may argue that it is the central story but for me that is generalizing just one aspect of the book. The Vulnerables is more about the musings and observations of the central character (the writer) from her point of view all centered around the onset of the pandemic in 2020. It is not just a quirky recounting of one’s experience during the pandemic but a deliberate exercise in reflecting inward on one’s life.
The book really resonated with me because I am now becoming an older woman and I could relate to all the sentiments of the main character whose days were filled with her memories contrasted with living in NYC by herself at the height of a global pandemic. I especially enjoyed the section where she describes the writing prompt of “I remember” and how just two simple words can elicit a multitude of responses as well as unite us in our own memories of specific events or life milestones.
This book may not be for everyone because the author’s style may be too loose and rambling for some but for me it was like reading a friend’s diary or letter. In fact, I remember when I was a freshman in college and how I would write a quote (from a book or song) on the back of the letters I wrote to my friends because for some reason I felt like it made me seem more profound or mature. The book is filled with so many quotes and I could see someone else finding them annoying, but I found them comforting. Overall, that is what the book gave me a sense of comfort because in the end we are all vulnerable in one way or another.