Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review - The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
Publisher - Picador
Publish Date - 7/16/13
Genre - Fiction
Buy on Amazon

My Rating:

I managed to read 2 ½ books on our Dominican vacation and this was the second one. I love to read on the beach (well really, I like to read pretty much anywhere) but I tend to want a bit lighter reads than I might typically gravitate towards. I had heard about this book from various sources and was eager to pick it up and read it and thought it would be the perfect beach companion. While I loved the book, it was really not the best beach read. It takes a bit more concentration than I like to give when I'm soaking up the sun and sand.

Nathaniel Piven is an up and coming writer in New York’s literary scene. He now has his pick of writing assignments and a book deal that any author would be envious of. Not only is his writing career thriving, so is his love life. He also seems to have his pick of women from Juliet, a savvy business woman, Elisa, his beautiful ex-girlfriend and Hannah, who is "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice."

While conversation among Nate and his circle of friends is still lively and full of wit, his ability to conquer romance with the same success seems to be lacking. Nate is incredibly self-assured, a bit arrogant and truly believes that he “gets it”. Obviously, he doesn’t. Waldman takes you deep into the psyche of the modern man during his struggle to find happiness in a world that, as much as he doesn’t want to admit it, does not understand. He loves women but always seems to let them down and is fairly oblivious to the way he treats them. In other words – he can be a bit of a dog.

I have to say that every woman, single or attached, needs to read this book. It was an incredible journey into the minds of modern women through the perspective of a man. Waldman does a fabulous job of focusing in on some of the more absurd parts of the New York young professionals scene and weaving them into hilarious conversation. She also really takes a lot of time to make sure that all of the dialogue and eventual conversational ends are well thought out and realistic. As a reader, you can easily place yourself into the middle of this circle of characters and believe their bantering is real.

All throughout this novel, I felt myself torn over really hating Nate and his degrading opinions and outlooks, but at the same time rooting for him to wake up and figure his shit out. The story is full of quotable lines and laugh out loud moments. It will leave you wanting to go back and read it again because you can’t possibly pick up on all the smart, clever details the first time around.

PAIR THIS WITH – Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend

If you want to sip on something delicious while reading this novel, Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend is perfect. A blend of the North Coast's finest varieties, this wine has some great caramel oak and mixed berry characters on the nose, juicy raspberry flavors, and full-but-soft and approachable tannins. It’s full of flavor and body but not distracting enough to make you lose focus on Waldman’s story. Another interesting fact - Dave Matthews collaborates on Dreaming Tree wines and the corks all have different lyrics from Dave Matthews songs on them!

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