Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Book Review: Modern Lovers

This book is the perfect summer read. With vivid characters, a gorgeous sense of place, and a plot that will keep you gripped throughout, this is just the sort of book for reading on the beach, on a plane, or in my case while curled up with an iced tea and a pile of cats.

The story follows Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe, college friends who have grown up together, and are now settled and happy (or should that be happy-ish?) in Brooklyn. As their own offspring reach adulthood, the trio have to face the challenges of growing up and passing the baton of adulthood on to the next generation.

I love how Straub writes the relationships - they feel real and rich. As each character takes their turn narrating and sharing their side of things, you begin to empathise with their point of view, meaning that their behaviour and reactions become more human, and more understandable. I enjoyed how willing Straub was to explore the miniature crises we all face as we move through life; from college stress to separation, from the lost-ness of adulthood to the realisation we all have in our thirties or forties that we are the grown ups now. Each character is brilliantly drawn, with a true humanity - there are no heroes or villains in this tale, just humans in all their flawed glory. Kind, jealous, petty, forgiving, loving, angry humans. At points I found some of the characters a little pretentious or jarring, but as the book unfolded it dawned on me that I was meant to feel this way!

I love the way Straub writes about Brooklyn. Zoe, Andrew and Elizabeth live in the same little area, and I could just see the stoops of the houses, feel the warmth of the New York summer, smell the aroma of cooking drifting from Hyacinth...

This is a classic four out of five book for me - a great, fun read, full of wit and wisdom. Well worth packing for your summer holiday!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a proof copy in return for an honest review. Thank you, Michael Joseph!


  1. I've been reading about so many great summer reads today! I see these books on the shelves and think "meh" but when I read about them - and what you have written about this one set in Brooklyn - it makes me actually want to pick them up. Will check it out and see if this at the local library!

    1. I hope you can find it, and that you enjoy it!

  2. This looks like exactly my kind of book so thanks for the share x

    1. I hope you like it, Rhian - I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the characters.

  3. What an interesting sounding book - I have to admit I need to try and get back into reading perhaps this will be the book I need! x

    1. Oh I hope you enjoy it, Sarah-Louise, it's a beautiful read.

  4. This book sounds really good, I need to read a lot more.

    1. I think we all say that, don't we? Everyone I know want sto read more :)

  5. I love books like these! Easy-going reads that make you feel happy in the end! Definitely a perfect summer relaxing read!

  6. I am always looking for a few guilty pleasures to add to my reading list and Modern Lovers might be a good addition.

    1. I hope you enjoy - it's a good balance of fun, and beautiful writing.

  7. Sounds interesting! I love the light theme of the cover though it actually gives lots of wisdoms inside. :)

    1. I adore the cover! The bright blue really catches the eye!

  8. This looks just like the kind of book that I would read. Thank you for the recommendation, I am going to check it out on my Kindle.

    1. I really hope you like it - such a super read!


Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

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Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is:

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.


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