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An honest and relevant look at being a woman in the world today, a mother, a wife, a friend I was completely enraptured by this novel Elizabeth is 34, the breadwinner of the family, her husband is self employed and spends most of his time taking care of their two girls while she works 2 teachings jobs to keep their family afloat, but its not enough and even with a Ph D her and her husband are filing for bankruptcy She comes from a family and childhood of privilege, but there is strife between her and her parents, this forces her to struggle with her lack of non disposable income and savings She misses Sasha, her once best friend whose friendship has drifted and now is this disconnected relationship of short texts, sometimes going unanswered She is unhappy at her daytime teaching job, always leaving early to read in cafe s using her magic credit card while it lasts Strong takes us deep inside our narrator s inner thoughts and wants With honesty and understanding of what its like to fall short, to want to please people and be seen in all aspects of our lives With rythmic prose this is a compulsively readable and relatable book Showing what its like in peoples busy lives today Being pulled in all directions, working hard but never having enough money or time to do it all So many passages I still ponder Highly reccomend Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC opinions are my own For of my book content check out On the surface, it would seem like Elizabeth, the heroine of Lynn steger Strong s novel WANT, has the world figured out if she only would stop navel gazing and be thankful for her blessings Her life is enviable by any measure, but it is Strong s honesty and her ability to present the inner life of this woman so clearly that keeps the reader riveted Here are the facts growing up in Florida, Elizabeth had a privileged childhood, followed by Columbia degrees and a life in Brooklyn, while she teaches in the Bronx and knows Manhattan well enough to jog across the Brooklyn Bridge and back every morning before breakfast She also has two healthy, adorable girls, and a loving husband So why does she feel so needy The title of the book is the first clue no matter what they have, they always want , feel secondary to friends, made to feel inferior by parents, sometimes everything is not enough Ultimately, I liked Elizabeth enough that I wish I knew her in real life. This is one of my favorite kind of books where I breezed through it in a couple days but there were countless points where I had to stop and appreciate a turn of phrase or a character trait description or something clever or the speaking of some truth that I identified with The narration is in the present tense, with sections from past and present flowing together as one which had the beautiful effect of feeling like you re in the main character s stream of consciousness It addressed the concept of women attempting to fulfill multiple roles simultaneously from mother, daughter, wife, sister, teacher, friend, and neighbor and the inevitability of failure from trying to be so many things at once Our narrator whose name is revealed at the very end is constantly juggling all these facets of herself and her different privileges and what they mean She is a white woman in her mid thirties, she s in love with her husband and has two young daughters, she comes from a wealthy family who she is mostly estranged from, and at the beginning of the book she s filing for bankruptcy, racked with crippling debt, but is still required to make payments on student loans that will never go away Interspersed with her current predicaments is flashbacks to her teenage life, where she is friends, but like sisters, with a girl named Sasha who she has since lost touch with She shifts through all of these components and , including her teaching jobs at a high school and night classes at a prestigious college, as well as her new friendship with a South American writer who sits in on one of her classes The narration style reminded me of Jenny Offill s books, with a woman recounting dispatches from her everyday like, but cohesive and fluid The author also excelled at breaking out of the enjoyable monotonous day to day account and making the reader feel the tension when the stakes are upped, especially during an uncomfortable moment with her parents and when something happens to one of her neighbors I can t say enough positive things about this book I was interested in every part of it. 3.5 stars Want is a reflection on what people take for granted Elizabeth, the main character, has a husband and family, and is an educator Her husband worked in finance before the 2008 Economic Crisis, but has now been working with his hands As Elizabeth ventures to work each day, she starts to slowly unravel and question her lifestyle To make matters worse, Elizabeth and her husband are filing for bankruptcy As mentioned above, this book is like holding up a mirror to the reader and telling them to enjoy what they have, because you ll always want At times, I didn t relate to the story much, but then other times it was exactly what I needed. WANT is a novel that situates the reader under the skin of a mother of two with a PhD, too many teaching jobs, fractured relationships with her parents and friends, a husband struggling to build a business, and pending bankruptcy It s wrenching and fevered and loving I felt like I was living in this book as the challenges and setbacks piled up again and again without much reprieve This layered feeling of constant anxiety pushes at the fraught limits of love, ambition, success, and desire Her heroine reveals how hard it is to survive in our modern life even when you grew up with considerable privilege and professional advantages And even if all we do is try to survive, we re subject to the powerful desires of others not only thanks to other people but capitalism with its large scale framework centered around profit, desire, and want Also, in spite of everything, we also remain subject to our own desires friendships without closure, intellectual and cultural needs, romance, the harmony of a community, nursing a child you don t see enough of, the need to please, the ache of making others proud, the profound desire of being seen It s also a compulsive read which I fully expected given that I inhaled Lynn s first novel HOLD STILL four years ago She s mined a very real nerve and this book is going to connect with so many readers. This is the book I needed to read Read it in a single day, but I m still over here thinking about it The struggle of being a woman right now is dealt with fiercely but with such finesse Haven t found something I ve connected with this much in a while. I loved this book Its subject, its style, and its honest description of modern life as it is for many people Working hard, never having enough money, the stress of having to do too much stuff at the same time and trying to be a good partner and parent, a good employee, a good friend etc etc Thank you Henry Holt and Co and Edelweiss for the ARC A mostly nameless narrator talks about her wants She s unhappy in her job and she and her husband have filed for bankruptcy They have no money to do much of anything She does seem to like spending time with her children, though, who she refers to as the 2 year old and the 4 year old Long blocks of text go by in which she refers to others as she which made it very difficult for me to remember who she was talking about I guess this is the new avant garde style of writing where hardly anyone has a name I prefer names that I can associate with characters in a book That makes it easier for me to follow the author s train of thought.To me, the unnamed narrator who we find out near the end is Elizabeth, whined way too much And virtually did nothing to change her circumstances for the better That is my opinion and it doesn t align with what other reviewers have said If you don t mind dwelling on depression for 300 pages this may be a great read for you. All that talking, years of reading There was a time I thought that all language might contain something of value, but most of life is flat and boring and the things we say are too Or maybe it s that most of life is so much stranger than language is able to make room for, so we say the same dead things and hope maybe the who and how of what is said can make it into what we mean Lynn Steger Strong s latest novel, Want, opens in 2000 with a doting memory of our heroine, Elizabeth, at age 16, and how she s tethered her love to her dear friend, Sasha, a year ahead of her Like all beautiful people, Sasha is alluring, magnetic, an unfailing reminder of the innumerable ways Elizabeth places second to her Seventeen years later Elizabeth is 34, struggling to uphold her family of four as the brood s breadwinner, and barely making ends meet as an adjunct professor at underprivileged schools following the misadventures of her self employed husband and the demands of their young daughters She has, in so many ways, been broken by the trajectory of her life She is not alone.While finding transient joy in being a confidant to her students, doing morning runs, and leaving work unannounced to read books in cafes at the limited leisure of her magic credit card, she scrolls through the wasteland of social media feeds to find Sasha married and approaching motherhood again with whom she yearns to reconcile after her descent to drugs and miscarriage years ago Burned by the backhanded affection of her parents, whose abuse lingers long after she escapes Florida for an unaffordable life in New York, Elizabeth, like so many other women, must grapple with wanting so much from a world that does not always want her Who must keep her hands on the steering wheel at all times, and must pull herself together at all times even when it seems the very fabric of her life continues to unravel around her.With Want, Strong pens an exhilarating evocation of the ways women overcome the hurdles of motherhood, the distress of being undesired, and the painful severance of once beloved friendships If you liked my review, feel free to follow me parisperusing on Instagram. ^DOWNLOAD BOOK ↹ Want ↡ Grappling With Motherhood, Economic Anxiety, Rage, And The Limits Of Language, Want Is A Fiercely Personal Novel That Vibrates With Anger, Insight, And LoveElizabeth Is Tired Years After Coming To New York To Try To Build A Life, She Has Found Herself With Two Kids, A Husband, Two Jobs, A PhD And Now They Re Filing For Bankruptcy As She Tries To Balance Her Dream And The Impossibility Of Striving Toward It While Her Work And Home Lives Feel Poised To Fall Apart, She Wakes At Ungodly Hours To Run Miles By The Icy River, Struggling To Quiet Her ThoughtsWhen She Reaches Out To Sasha, Her Long Lost Childhood Friend, It Feels Almost Harmless One Of Those Innocuous Ruptures That Exist Online, In Texts But Her Timing Is Uncanny Sasha Is Facing A Crisis, Too, And Perhaps After Years Apart, Their Shared Moments Of Crux Can Bring Them Back Into Each Other S LivesIn Want, Lynn Steger Strong Explores The Subtle Violences Enacted On A Certain Type Of Woman When She Dares To Want Things And All The Various Violences In Which She Implicates Herself As She Tries To Survive