Gifted and Talented

In a sparkling new novel, friends grow into--or out of--their ambitions

Photograph by Carolyn Griffin for TIME

Wolitzer's novel spans 40 years and countless frustrated ambitions.

What becomes a legend most? or rather, who? Those with innate ability? Those blessed with enough beauty or money to indulge any creative whim? Or just those who want it the most? In The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer's quarry is ambition: what it means to have it, how to use it, how it's lost. Her sprawling, engaging novel shows that the author possesses the keen class consciousness of Edith Wharton, the jaundiced empathy of Kate Christensen and the taste for melodrama of Jacqueline Susann.

In 1974, Jules Jacobson, middle class and sadly permed, is on a summer scholarship at Spirit-in-the-Woods, a camp...

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