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Monday, 5 June 2017

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak #bookreview

About The Futures

This is a story about falling in love, and of a relationship that's falling apart . . .

It's the story of a young couple, graduating from Yale and moving to New York in search of the shared future they'd always dreamed about. Of crisp morning strolls through Central Park, taxi horns and the bustle of tourists, salty hot pretzels and the glitter of Broadway and long summer days that stretch like shadows across the sidewalk.

It's a story of high expectations and missed opportunities, of growing up, taking chances and making terrible mistakes.

This is Evan and Julia's story.

This is a love story.

But nobody said it ends happily.

My review of The Futures

The Futures is a beautiful coming of age story set in New York. We follow Julia and Evan from when they first meet while studying at Yale, through to them moving to New York to start their life together. The Futures is a novel that focusses upon character and relationships. The story is in the small details, what is said, how a person reacts. It is a book that cannot be rushed.

Evan and Julia move to Nee York, rent a small apartment in one of the more run down areas of the city and begin to look for work. As Yale graduates, they believe that work will be easy to find, but it is 2008 and the financial crash is looming. Evan is lucky, he lands a lucrative job with a hedge fund company, Spire. He believes that life couldn't get any better. He has the perfect  job and a wonderful girlfriend. But, is he living the perfect life? Is his life perfect? Julia's situation is entirely different. She feels at a loss, with no job prospects looming. She does not want to be the 'stay at home wife', she is a Yale graduate. She wants to live her life as a young career woman. She is fortunate enough to be employed by a charitable organisation, gained via her parents' contacts. But is this what she really wants to do? Has she merely settled?.

Evan and Julia are complete opposites, and from entirely different backgrounds. Julia was brought up in a privileged household and has many society connections. Evan on the other hand is from a working class family in Canada. His parents own and run a grocery store in their small town. These social circumstances are important for understanding what happens in their future, in a way they believe that their social upbringing and status defines who they are and what they will become.

The Futures is the story of a young couple starting out in life. They have there whole future ahead of them. They learn about living independently in the big world, a completely different life to that of students. They learn about trust, love, and basically what it means to be a grown up. They learn that life is often way more complicated than it seems, but that there is always a way to survive, to simply be.

I don't want to go into the plot, but I'll just say it is a simple one, focussing upon these two characters and how their relationship evolves over time. As with any relationship, they need to find their role within it. They need to figure out who they really are.

I enjoyed reading this gentle and thought provoking novel. It resonated deeply with me, that feeling when you first graduate, when you are set free into the world, but you have no idea of what role you will play in it. The Futures echoes these thoughts and feelings beautifully. I loved the depictions of living in New York City and the beautiful prose and phrasing that was used. It really is s beautiful and engaging read.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Futures, published by Michael Joseph on 1 Jun. 2017 is available from Amazon here.

About the author

Anna Pitoniak is an editor of fiction and non-fiction at Random House in New York. She graduated from Yale in 2010, where she majored in English and was an editor at the Yale Daily News. The Futures is her first novel.

Follow Anna on Twitter @annapitoniak

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