A novel examines the complexities of relationships, the challenges of communicating feelings, and the difficulties of discovering what one really wants.
At the center of this book is Maggie Winslow—a 20-something on the brink of her quarter-life crisis—who is feeling disillusioned by her consulting job and everything else adulthood has offered her (so far). The author traces Maggie’s story back to college, where she meets and falls in love with a guy named Dave, who is an athletic, charming, and kind senior pre-med student. Maggie and Dave fall into a serious relationship almost immediately, and soon they are moving in together and building a life as a couple. While Dave pursues his medical studies, Maggie becomes a consultant, and after spending some time apart because of work and school obligations, they are finally able to live together again and forge a path as two professional adults. But after a while, something in their rapport shifts, and their once-adoring and comfortable dynamic begins to disintegrate—leaving Maggie feeling even lonelier than when the two were apart. She finds herself missing Dave “when he was sitting right next to her.” Maggie begins to consistently question what happened to their passion—and wonder whether they’ll ever be able to get it back. The story that Snider (A Merger of Equals, 2006, etc.) tells is somewhat lackluster; a fizzling relationship and a probing young adult dealing with normal obstacles do not necessarily make for the most riveting plot. But the author makes some deft observations and asks some important, universally relevant questions (“How simple to be a child; easily delighted, easily devastated, easily able to get over either and move on to the next thing. Did maturity inevitably dilute pleasure and salt perception with disillusionment, cynicism, and fear? Did it necessarily spark second-guessing?”). Furthermore, her prose remains eloquent and often beautiful throughout.
An ultimately enjoyable and charming book about a young woman who struggles to figure out how to embrace the positive aspects of her life.