Standalone Sunday is a feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you can feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend! There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!
Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! Be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list
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cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.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.
This was my last official read of 2015. I started it the day after Christmas and was consumed by it for the next 4 days straight! This isn’t a book that would typically cross my radar but after listening to a podcast talk it up, having a trusted book friend highly recommend it and it was short-listed for the Manbooker, I had to give it a try. That being said, this book may not be for everyone. There are some extremely hard to read about issues in this book…child abuse, self-harm. And the first 200 pages will have you questioning whether anything actually happens in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I kept reading because I liked getting to know these friends but I wanted something to happen! Rest assured, about that point in the book things will take a dark turn and you (most likely) will not put this book down until you know how it all will turn out for these friends. For me, this was ultimately a story about the healing power of friendship and love but also one of resilience and letting go. Have your tissues ready and, if you’re like me, be prepared for a super book hangover after reading this one.