Study Guide

The Interestings Friendship

By Meg Wolitzer

Friendship

Friendship is supposed to be the main thing in The Interestings. It's about a group that bonds as teens and then slowly shifts around as they move into adulthood. Instead of focusing on the joys of friendship, though, this book shows how friendship can fail and not be enough for a person. Friendship isn't just the tie that binds with this group, it's also what pushes people (think: Cathy) from the group and splits loyalties.

And, of course, when friendship becomes something you're in love with (like Jules is), rather than an extension of your love for other people, it starts clouding judgments and warping relationships rather than making them better.

Questions About Friendship

  • In what ways is Jules and Ash's friendship typical? In what ways does it deviate from what we might expect friendship to look like? Combined, what does this tell you about this theme in the novel?
  • What role does romance play in Ethan and Jules's friendship? Does this change? How can you tell, and what impact does this have on their relationship with each other?
  • How do the marriages in this book function next to the friendships?

Chew on This

People may think Jules is their friend, but she's incapable of true friendship—her own interests and needs always come first.

The friendship between Ethan and Jules prevents them from ever being 100% devoted to their own spouses because their friendship is forever tainted by romance.