Published by Doubleday on March 10 2015
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Powell's • Indiebound
There was lots of talk about this one on the bookternet when it first came out. Everyone was (and is) saying that the book is beautiful and devastating.
Spoiler Alert: It’s true.
This book follows the lives of four college friends as they make their way as adults in NYC. The friends are spread out in the cultural landscape of the city: Jude is lawyer and mathematician, Willem is an actor, JC an artist, and Malcolm is an architect. The story mostly centers around Jude; who spends his life dealing with both the physical and mental injuries that were inflicted upon him during childhood.
This book is hard to talk about. The book is so beautifully written and heartfelt that I cannot do it justice with anything I can put down here. What I am going to say instead is that this book just needs to be experienced firsthand.
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.