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These Days Are Ours Paperback – February 28, 2012
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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*Starred Review* Six months after 9/11, native New Yorker and recent college graduate Hailey has still not landed a job. Uncertainty has become a constant as she goes on random job interviews, parties with her privileged friends, and continues to live with her mother and stepfather in their gigantic Fifth Avenue penthouse. She has become romantically obsessed with Princeton graduate Michael Brenner, whose solid life plan—fellowship, Harvard Law School—masks his self-absorption. And she is still haunted by her parents’ divorce, because “having two parents who don’t love each other is like having your blood and your skin not get along.” Her own nebulous goals come under increasing scrutiny by her parents’ tony friends at various soirees, but, at one of them, she meets Adrian, and their instant connection centers her, allowing her to see that the world is, once again, full of possibility. Debut novelist Haimoff clearly captures the strange, sad time in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and yet she also nails the energetic, funny banter of twentysomethings, the expectations placed on the sons and daughters of the supersuccessful, and the heartache of being young and lost. --Joanne Wilkinson
Booklist (Starred Review): "Debut novelist Haimoff clearly captures the strange, sad time in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and yet she also nails the energetic, funny banter of twentysomethings, the expectations placed on the sons and daughters of the supersuccessful, and the heartache of being young and lost."
Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review, Pick of the Week): “Engrossing… Haimoff’s writing resonates with an authenticity and gravitas that books about girls trying to find themselves in the big city often lack. Her details about elite schools and childhood haunts in Manhattan pepper Hailey’s memories in often touching ways. A thoughtful novel for our time.”
"Whether she's ruthlessly dissecting the mating habits of disaffected urbanites, or evoking the emotional complexity of coming of age in New York City in the aftermath of 9/11, Haimoff's writing is smart, witty, honest, and never anything less than utterly engaging." (Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This is Where I Leave You )
"Beware reader: this novel is so addictive, once you start reading, you will have to cancel all of your plans. But you'll hardly even notice; Michelle Haimoff has such a fresh and inviting voice, and a gift for making characters live, you'll feel surrounded by friends." (Alison Espach, author of The Adults )
"Michelle Haimoff has done it: This novel's brilliance lies not just in Haimoff's careful plotting, her precise language, her masterful ear for dialogue, the beautiful depth of even her most minor characters, and protagonist Hailey's hilarious, wonderful voice, but in the way she captures the defining mood of a generation. It reminded me of some of my favorite novels of New York, Bright Lights, Big City, in particular. I will confess: I read it twice. And have not stopped thinking about it since." (Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age )
Nylon Magazine: "These Days Are Ours is... incredibly funny, shrewdly observed, and the prose sounds like the manic mix of thoughts and feelings that stream through our heads on a daily basis. (You'll probably look up from the pages and say, 'Omigod, that's so true' an uncomfortable amount of times.)"
Top customer reviews
My problem with the book is that I’m a middle-class, non-Jewish suburbanite in my sixties, so I couldn’t relate to the wealthy NYC Jewish 20-somethings. Yes, the book contained some ageless wisdom and humor, but in fact the book was written for the young. I knew some of the music references only because I have kids in their twenties. And true to the age, it’s a bit angst-y. The book opens with the main character fantasizing about marrying her current crush (who’s a total jerk), and I found it pretty silly and boring. Still, her brightness and intelligence did lure me in, and I ended up liking the main character and the book. In fact, I realized there is a connection between a new college grad in search of a job and a recently retired person in search of meaningful activity. Some things transcend age—finding meaning in life spans all ages.
This isn’t a “wow” book. Nothing important happens. It annoyed me that there were no chapters, plus the ending is too abrupt. But, that said, I enjoyed reading it.
It's about people who you'd assume are way too rich to relate to (heck, they live in Manhattan. They've gotta be rich). And yet somehow you do relate to them. And you find yourself liking them. Rooting for them. Wanted to know more about them. And seeing a little bit of yourself in them.
And that's not so bad.
Read this book before they massacre it into a movie. It's so delightful, you'll be glad you did.
It gave the feeling of reading a "Gossip Girl" novel, but there was so much more behind it.
I loved the book, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the Upper East side glamour of New York.
A close runner-up: "The Big Chill II," with slackers getting together twenty seconds after they graduate from college to bemoan the state of the world and wonder where their lives went.
In "These Days Are Ours," Michelle Haimoff's debut novel, there's a twist that's even more deadly --- it's six months after 9/11....in New York.
How hard did I fight liking --- even reading --- this book?
As hard as the family member of that classy family who changed Mom's will before murdering her works to keep anyone from going into the basement of the old summer home and finding the new cement behind the oil burner.
And the cast! In "These Days Are Ours," we meet kids who went to private schools and studied semiotics at, like, Brown. They have a friend who sets his backpack down in the park while he plays Frisbee and the cops look through it and bust him for weed. They know Tom Cruise's last three movie roles. They live with their parents in vast uptown apartments. They have DVF wrap dresses in their closets. The ones with jobs have routines: Morgan Stanley by day, the gym, getting drunk on weekends. And they can all talk in that ironic way you'd expect --- they can picture "the second major attack."
And they know something powerful: The people who died on 9/11 were people who were "doing well." That is, they had jobs. Which these kids mostly don't. Hailey, especially, who is the narrator.
Unemployment grates on Hailey. Her mother is the publisher of Details Magazine, her stepfather is in the top tier at Conde Nast. --- she's the "kid of." Six months after her graduation, you'd think she could score some kind of employment.
Or, failing that, a boyfriend. She has her eye on Brenner, who has a prestigious followship he'll follow up with Harvard Law. She's slept with him, just once. She'd happily show up for more. Hell, she'd welcome his ring.
Fifty pages in, I hated most of these kids. Hated them like they were real people.
And then I realized: This is really good writing.
Yes, these kids are hateful to me. But I bet, if I were 24 and reading "These Days Are Ours," I'd be nodding in recognition.
Their challenges and triumphs, their endless texting and meet-ups at bars and ham-fisted attempts at deep wisdom --- strip away the technology and the money, substitute grass for vodka, and, a gazillion years ago, that was me.
But I never had to describe, as Michelle Haimoff does, turning a corner and being confronted with Ground Zero: "It looked like King Kong had torn through the skyscraper forest so that he could have a little breathing room." I've read a lot about 9/11, but nothing as good as that.
Haimoff has the wit to take her title from "The Obvious Child," a Paul Simon song:
I am remembering a girl when I was young
And we said These songs are true
These days are ours
These tears are free...
But no tears are free --- not even the tears of twenty-somethings. And after a while, I began to care about them, about all of them. It's not my fate to be the child of people who are bigger successes than I'll ever be, and it's probably not yours, but if the characters are drawn well enough, yeah, I can see that could be a bitch. And so I began to turn the pages faster to find out what happens for those kids.
Come for the shallow, stay for the deep.
Most recent customer reviews
female coming of age or coping with age stories. After S in the City & anything by Jane Austen, I'm exhausted.Read more
it's a beautiful read and i implore every one to pick it up and give it a...Read more