The Page Turner: Modern Lovers

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The Page Turner: Modern Lovers

Photo Courtesy of Man Repeller

Photo Courtesy of Man Repeller

Photo Courtesy of Man Repeller

Melanie Singer ’17, Life & Styles Editor

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As the days are getting colder and the sun is setting earlier, summer is getting further and further away from us. I look back on all the free time I used to have, unlike now, when many of us are cooped up in the library, grinding away at our studies. The joy of simply reading a book for fun isn’t in our schedules anymore. But, in preparation for our breaks to come, one mindless read to consider is Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub. It’s a charming book that came out at the very beginning of summer about young lovers. With some nostalgia here and there, it’s a book that you can pick up and put down and not forget the plot line.

The set-up of Modern Lovers shows a variety of different relationships, some young, and some old.

You have the mother, Elizabeth, and father, Andrew, of the character Harry, who have been married for many years. Then, there’s Zoe and Jane, a gay couple who are in the midst of figuring out their marriage and if it’s really working for them. Zoe and Jane have a daughter, Ruby, who soon becomes involved in Harry’s life.

The character set-up makes the book come full circle through each ‘lover’ knowing one another in different ways. Straub’s writing makes the internal issues that characters deal with come off in such eloquence and sympathy that the reader isn’t annoyed by the characters dwelling on this or that throughout the book. The novel truly encompasses the beauty of being young and living in Brooklyn among all the small hipster shops and cafes, as the two characters Zoe and Jane own a cute farm-to-table restaurant.

Not only does this book give you a glimpse into Brooklyn through day and night, but Elizabeth is also a real estate agent who sheds some light on the changes that have been occurring throughout Brooklyn. The book focuses less on this aspect of Brooklyn, but the jobs that the married couples have on the Brooklyn community as a whole (restaurant owner and real estate agent). There’s a sense of family involved in the book as well. Each character cares deeply for one another, and some a little bit more. There’s some teen angst seen in the character Ruby. As she loves to rebel against her parents and doesn’t plan on attending college like the rest of her friends, she develops youthful love for Harry, a more innocent, goody-goody character. Straub truly captures love from all different angles: the parents’ aging love for one another, with some minor bumps along the road, and the new experiences found in love through Ruby and Harry.

This novel takes place during the heat of the summer and will for sure take you back to the relaxation of the hot summer air, and some summer time love while you’re at it.

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