Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.
But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.
Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.
The five characters of this book had to confront the disparity between reality and their expectations and aspirations for life. The results, of course, were not what they imagined.
I found this book fascinating in that I'm intrigued by the way people's hopes and dreams can turn into a 9-5 office job and paying the bills--or simply surviving. These five have managed to make a slightly convoluted mix of the two--two in particular are living lives they both probably would have dreamed of. Yet it seems none are particularly happy.
Bea is that whimsical character that appears in many books and is never particularly insightful but is always heartbreakingly lovable. The circumstances of her death are up in the air and it seems that the only thing that everyone knows with confidence is how much they miss her.
Maybe I'm a little bit too young for this book, but I found it hard to connect with its characters. Lindy was probably my favourite, though the one I related the least to. The way she talked about going from being a famous songwriter to having someone else writing her hits for her was a poignant look at the music industry, and she and Catherine's perceptions of their own ideas and success were most touching to me.
Though the premise was cool, I wasn't terribly sold by the plot of this book. At the end, I felt like Annie was the only one who might have really changed or who had possibilities for the future. I wasn't quite sure where the end goal was, and the telling of the tale to take us there wasn't quite enough for me to adore this.
This is by no means a bad story and the author has tied a lot together, but it didn't enthuse me much.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.