It was at summer camp for gifted kids that the interestings met, formed life long bonds and named themselves. Jules Jacobson is a love-interest of The Interestings’ most conventionally successful male character, Ethan. “You’re just so much yourself,” Ethan tells Jules, as a smitten teenager. “You’re not all neurotic like some girls … pretending to be a little less smart than a boy. You’re ambitious, you’re quick, you’re really funny, and you’re a good friend.”Finally a book which recognises that people fall for other people because they actually like them. There’s beautiful, ethereal theatre-loving Ash and her gruff, charismatic brother Goodman; Ethan, an ugly, talented animator; Cathy, a dancer, entrancing to all teenage boys; Jonah, the introspective son of a famous folk musician, and Jules – a suburban kid with a bad perm, a recent bereavement, and a minor skill in comic acting.
The action jumps back and forth in time, largely following Jules and Ethan, as well as Jonah, and Ash – who unexpectedly falls in love with and marries Ethan. We follow the twists and turns of their friendships as they go to college, have relationships and children, get jobs. Some careers take off; others crawl along. Gifted children grow up into adults who have to pay the bills and don’t always make the best choices. One of the themes of the novel is that no one is perfect.
Makes for an interesting read.