Friday, May 22, 2009

A Fortunate Age

"A Fortunate Age" by Joanna Smith Rakoff is the story of six 20 somethings, starting out in New York. It is set in the late 90s and turn of the century, and follows five Oberlin graduates as they shed their youth and start their lives.
I found that the characters were difficult to follow and I didn't feel that the characters were fully developed. The author focuses each chapter on one character but doesn't go into enough depth in any of them to make me care about them. Smith Rakoff uses flashbacks to try to fill in some of the gaps, but instead of helping, I feel it makes it difficult to keep everyone's story straight. None of the characters in this first novel by Smith Rakoff, is memorable. 
The author used language that tries to emulate that of Edith Wharton or Charles Dickens and is used to try to fill the depth of this book. Not a successful endeavor. If there was a plot, I couldn't find it. I finished the book only because I hoped that the next chapter would be better. Instead, I was disappointed and no less confused.