01-13-2009 03:35 PM
I kind of saw Lil's wedding as marking the transition of "the group" into mature adulthood. It seems like Lil's wedding too acts as a catalyst for the rest of the group members to begin making that same transition - Sadie & Tal, Beth & Will, etc. It seems like they are changing from people who are just getting by to people who are setting goals for themselves, such as marriage and professional jobs.
I had a really hard time with this book; the more I read, the less I liked it and the less connection I felt to the characters. I believe that Lil's wedding should have marked the transition to maturity, but none of these characters ever seem to actually mature. This is my generation, and I would hate to think that any of my friends resembled these folks...
The decision to get married is often not a mature one for people, nor does it make them more mature - just makes them face a different reality...
01-13-2009 03:46 PM
I find it interesting that there have been a number of comments,thoughts and judgements about what kind of girl Beth must be in Chapter 2 to go to a guys apartment and have kinky sex on the first date, but no one has commented on what kind of guy Will is to bring a girl home on the first date and have kinky sex...
Just a discussion point...
01-13-2009 04:48 PM
01-13-2009 07:58 PM
I'm just catching up to everyone here; I got a slow start after the holidays. I really don't have much to say about these chapters because seem to be mainly introductory/background material. Now that we know the cast of characters, I suspect the remaining chapters will start to fill in the story. Frankly however, I am glad to hear that many of the other readers are having trouble relating to the lives of these characters. I was thinking it was just me. I also want to mention that I was also a little surprised the the author didn't fill in the Will/Beth romance a little more. First he wasn't her calling after a one-night-stand of sorts and the next thing we know they are getting married. That's a lot of ground to cover in the turn of a page.
01-13-2009 11:45 PM
01-14-2009 07:24 AM
After completing chapter 5, I now find Lil and Tuck's wedding to be more interesting and filled with pertinent information. In retrospect, it really did set the stage for the novel. It seems as if Lil and Tuck's wedding was a new beginning for an old group of friends...if only I could bring myself to reread it! LOL
Message Edited by nikkid on 01-07-2009 04:51 AM
I suggest reading chapter 1 again to anyone who is thinking about it. I did and I understand more of what happens in the book now. You can see the connections from the wedding to everything else that is happening. I wouldn't do it until then end though, because then you have all the information from their lives and where they were led.
"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
01-14-2009 09:40 AM
I have wanted to like this book for about 7 chapters now. I don't dislike it per say, but I find that I am plodding through it with no real interest in what happens from one page to the next. I cannot connect with the characters on any level and it just seems to ramble on and on. I really want to get excited about A Fortunate Age, but I just can't muster the enthusiasm. Darn it! I am fighting picking up a more enjoyable book every night!
Are there others who are just getting through it and not really finding the enjoyment they had hoped for?
This is remarkable, I felt exactly the same at exactly the same point in the book. But it started to turn for me in Chapter 8 (I'll post my comments in the next thread) and now I'm interested! Try at least a couple more chapters.
01-14-2009 01:49 PM
It took my a long time to get through the first chapter. I was a little bored. But, I am truly enjoying the book. It reminds me of my life. That point in your life when you maybe can't believe your adolescence is gone. Becoming an adults and one that you never thought you would become. Noticing how your way of thinking and beliefs have changed.
I grew very attached to Beth during the beginning chapters. The sex scene, I thought was a little wierd. It seemed out of character for Beth and "Beth" herself, probably felt that way too. What I also wondered is, the story explains Will is broken hearted, impotent and has no interest in love. Then all of the sudden, months later, he's engaged to Beth. How did that happened? Maybe, later in the book, we'll find out....
The conflicts I see are Sadie and Tal's relationship, Lil's and Tucks, of course. Also, everyone's future careers (will they all succeed in their dreams??). I do sense that even though they are all still friends, they're growing apart from one another. This is due to what I mentioned up above. Everything has dramatically changed from the time of Lil's wedding to Lil's party in the 5th chapter.
01-14-2009 06:50 PM
I also found it hard to keep reading after the first couple of chapters. I find the character development spotty and inconsistent.....the author really works up a character and then they just disappear only to resurface in later chapters in a totally different state of life. This is particularly the case with Beth and Dave. I really want to like these people, but all I can think so far is these are a bunch of people refusing to grow up and face reality. I know others have said that people they know never grew up, and of course I know people like that too. But honestly......out of a group of 6 college educated friends, not ONE of them is a fully functional adult???? I am really hoping the next group of chapters resolves some of this.
When Ms Rakoff concentrates on a character, I do get interested in what she is telling us, but then.....poof!!.....that character is gone and I feel frustrated.
01-15-2009 03:19 AM
I have to agree with another reader and say that the first chapter left me feeling as if I had been dropped into the middle of the novel and I was reading about characters and plot lines that I should already know, however while the structure is not the way I would have done it myself perhaps...these characters did begin to grow on me as I settled into the book.
Joanna Smith Rakoff's voice has taken me a little while to get used to, but I have enjoyed it. These first five chapters have been a nice opportunity for me to get to know the characters. The sex scene didn't bother me, nor did the quick wedding. It was all part of the story and I chose to accept it for face value, so to speak and wait to see what it will bring to the rest of the story.
"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
01-15-2009 06:11 PM
I feel that Lil's wedding made her friends examine their own lives and try to figure out what direction they show be headed. It seemed like it was a "wake up call" for some of them.
The striking moments for me were Beth and Will's "encounter" in chap. 2 and then learning that they are getting married. How did they get from point A to point B?
I was also surprised by the change in Tuck after he gets married.
I agree with other readers that this is a hard book to enjoy. I have really enjoyed the other First Look books, but this one I am struggling with. I don't feel connected to any of the characters.
01-16-2009 11:47 AM
01-16-2009 06:07 PM
I, too, am only a few years younger than the characters and I was anxious to get started with this novel thinking it would take me back to my own college years. I have yet to find a connection, though. Maybe my college and post-grad experiences were completely different.
I have to admit there are many passages in the first five chapters that had me rolling my eyes but I am eager to keep reading.
01-16-2009 11:03 PM
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
01-17-2009 12:56 AM
I really enjoyed chapters 1 through 5 but a few things stood out. I really feel for Lil--I think that Tuck may be the first man she loved & trusted and he's turning out to be such an **bleep** loser. I hope she wises up & leaves him soon.
I also was so conflicted about Beth. I felt so bad for her--I could tell that she really felt on the outs w/ her group & not at all over Dave & that is probably why she let Will do the things she let him do in that first encounter. However, I wish that the reader was given more of an idea of how her relationship w/ him progressed. One minute he's a married mess who is impotent & not calling her & the next they are engaged. I hope that their relationship is explored in more detail in the book.
01-17-2009 08:43 AM
Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:[Beth] couldn't say no even if she wanted to just as she couldn't say yes either.
Great point. She doesn't realize that not making a decision results in a decision anyway ... one made by someone else. Some people waffle all their lives, but isn't indecision especially common in early adulthood -- a reluctance to rule out life possibilities?
01-17-2009 06:29 PM
The first chapter for me was really hard to get through. After that it was alot easier. There seemed to be some jealousy at Lil getting married. Maybe some uncertainity to some about how this would affect their relationships with her.
I agree that there seemed to be some jealousy over Lil getting married. As I read the first chapter I drew parallels to my life and the first friend in my group to get married. In our case it wasn't as much jealousy, but more uncertainty. Her marriage signaled that all of our lives were changing. We were adults and had 'grown-up' responsibilites. I don't think that I am much older than the characters in this book. I'd like to think that the wedding marked a similar milestone in their lives.
01-17-2009 10:28 PM
01-18-2009 08:42 AM
From the start, I felt as if I were in the 60's (my generation coming of age!). The biggest surprise was Lil getting married- even enjoying the event! It brings out a host of differing feelings. I sense regret in some and jealousy in others. The mothers are an annoyance.
I felt the same way I wonder if everyone is reading this and relating it their coming of age as opposed to a particular Age in Time? Jo
01-18-2009 09:58 AM