The Futures: A Novel by Anna Pitoniak

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“Fantasy is the only escape valve- what’s all the pain worth without it? But not for me. I’d screw my eyes shut and try to imagine it, what the future would look like, what alchemy might transform our current situation. But nothing came. There was no thread of hope.”

Life eats you up, how can we expect love to survive- young and fresh, asking to be destroyed? Evan has made a success of himself, an Ivy League undergraduate, just like his girlfriend, he is on the verge of greatness working with a hedge fund, his beginnings are far more humble than his beloved Julia’s. He’s had to work far harder than her. There is a hunger and direction that seems to be consuming him, leaving directionless Julia on a shelf. Not unlike many women before, and after her, ‘how did I get here and who is this man I am sleeping next too me’ are questions that are souring her once fresh love. Evan is on his way up, excited about this time in his life, who can blame him? But what happens when one partner’s star is rising and the other is falling? Love needs balance, and is rarely fair. There are plenty of people waiting to test it, waiting to dissect the lives we build before we understand anything about ourselves and the world.

Both stumble through the strange time of early adulthood where one is meant to be trail blazing their way to the future, bleeding to make their dreams come true, and how much more complicated things are when love is part of the equation.  How many apartments with couples, just like them, are being wrung out? Situations press us to do things against our beliefs, and often it seems life comes back for it’s pound of flesh we didn’t know we offered. With Evan obsessed with his career, blind to the problems brewing at home as much as oblivious to what is truly happening at work, someone from their past is ready to make them question more than just their love for each-other. Is loneliness something another can truly ‘fix’?

The Futures are for none of us guaranteed, and trajectory you were sure you were on sometimes goes in a different direction entirely. Before you know it, it’s too late to return and get your footing on solid ground, and when you start to fall, everything is broken or upside down. This is growing up. You step out greedy for that future, your hand about to grasp the dream, everything in it’s place only to step in messes of your own making, as if you’re eyes were closed the entire time. There are just as many brutal lessons of the heart as their are in business.

Ivy League isn’t a ticket to perfection… what is? Evan and Julia have a lot to learn about life, loyalty and love- regardless of how ‘smart and learned’ they are. Those bruises and scars  we all collect early on are requirements for entrance into the world of grown ups whether your origins are humble or grand.

January 17, 2017

Little, Brown and Company

Lee Boudeaux Books

 

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