A character driven novel – and what characters they are!
The Harvard Class of 2003 are gathering for their 15th Anniversary at their old college. The group that were close friends at college have kept in touch, some remaining constantly in touch, while others who may have been full of good intentions have let things slip. None of that matters when they all gather again.
Eloise has never left Harvard, and is now part of the Academic staff. She has cleverly acquired the same accommodation her group had as students, and they now occupy it for the reunion. Living cheek by jowl and sharing bathrooms as a student is not quite the same as an adult particularly if you have young children as Rowan and Mariam discover.
This tale is so utterly believable highlighting the ebb and flow of friendships and affections. The ambitions of the friends when they were students and the follow up from their education. Were they successful in their fields? Are they content? The reader is drawn into the very heart of the characters’ lives connecting and recognising immediately events and situations that touch on events in many lives.
I found this book absorbing and enjoyable. The characters are so real and easy to relate to as the differences and alliances of the past years move on now that they are adults. A reader cannot fail to be amused when they have to occasional resort to student behaviour.
Jomo, has always been attractive, and is a business success. His romantic indecision made me want to shake him. Jules, despite her renown as a famous actress is a mystery, embarrassed by her recognition and carrying a burden of sadness. Jules appears gloomy despite her renown as a successful actress. Eloise has remained at Harvard, and is now a Professor dealing with life skills. Her marriage to the younger Binx is causing her anxiety. And there are others in the group, each an individual whose contribution to this story adds to the intrigue. Old loyalties and comradeship of youth still linger endearingly in their relationships. Old aversions still linger and the antipathy from hurts when they were students adds a certain spice to this story that contains, romance, loyalty, friendship, frustration and stress. A great read.
I never attended college but I loved this superbly written book which I suspect is a window on reality.
Personal read ****
Group read ***
Reviewed by Sheila Grant
Published 4th March 2021 by Swift Press,
hardback, ISBN 978-1800750135