finished reading

This book is called The Big Chill for our times.  I loved The Big Chill.  I liked this book but didn't love it.  All of the characters are obliviously entitled.  And I don't know if they're a product of our times or if it's the author's fault.  But they are removed from reality insomuch as they can drop everything at a phone call to jet away for a gathering, based on a teenage pact they made.  The premise is great.  But the flat characters got to me.  Maybe it's because I can't jet away for a gathering on a moment's notice.  There is a lot of wit and clever dialog.  And poignant moments.  As I said, I liked it but didn't love it.

From the publisher:
A decades-old pact offers a group of college friends the chance to throw each other “living funerals,” in the next poignant and humorous novel by the bestselling author of The Guncle.

The night after one of their own is tragically taken away from them, a group of seven college friends form a pact: a promise to reunite every few years to throw each other "living funerals," constant reminders that life is worth living, if not for them then for their late friend.

Now, twenty-eight years into the hard-worn lines of adulthood, their "funerals" only remind them of all the opportunities they missed. But when one member of the old gang receives an unexpected diagnosis, the pact takes on new meaning, and each friend is forced to confront old secrets, and weigh their now-middle-age lives against the idealistic dreams of their youth.

A deeply honest tribute to selfhood and the people who keep us going, The Celebrants, coupled with Steven Rowley's signature humor and heart, is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth, and all the beautiful ways in which friendship can transcend our deepest losses.

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