April 6, 2009

A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff

A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff, approaches a group of post-graduate Gen-Xers as they begin their adult lives tackling friendship, coupling, love and sex. Rackoff is a tactical author who employs fresh methods of story telling to establish excitement and interest. For example, instead of getting a narrative of events central to the story, we get character reactions to some of these events, as the group tries to relate major events to how they may affect their own lives. To accomplish this we get a lost of tangents and back story which then clarifies character’s motive and thought processes. Huge plot developments are not even mentioned—only inferred later in the story. Such devices combine ensuring a dramatic story arc for all of the characters, and a book that reads as more of complex study of characters then a typical novel. Readers will literarily climb into Rakoff’s group and the minds of its members. Overall, Rakoff delivers a strong and highly literary debut. The layered examination of New York culture during the time period reads like a modernized Wharton.

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