Meg Wolitzer sets out to answer a question so many thirty-somethings ask: what happens when we set out to do what we love, as we've always been encouraged to do, but find that the world doesn't love what we do? A group of friends attended summer camp together for years, and now as adults their friendship has changed. The friends they all thought would be smashing successes have dramatically failed, or have become unrecognizably dull. The boy no one expected anything of has built a media empire. How do you measure success? Do you compare yourself to your friends and family, or do you set other goals for yourself? Wolitzer doesn't offer easy answers, but she has written an engaging novel that forces us to ask ourselves the tough questions.
Forging a powerful bond in the mid-1970s that lasts throughout subsequent decades, six individuals pursue respective challenges into their midlife years, including an aspiring actress who harbors jealousy toward friends who achieve successful creative careers.