I got swept away by this book, glancing casually at my watch to hope for another half hour to squeeze its bits into my mouth, chomp down the story and savor the words. Not the most swoon-worthy writing, but decent (no dog-eared pages, nothing quotable, but why should novels be quoted?) For once, a long book that didn’t cry out for editing help, and an ending worthy of the 500+ pages that went before. Deft maneuvering from telling the tale of 6 teenagers to detailing their early 20s struggle in NYC in the 80s, that pit that frightened yet still showed signs of the injection of cash and fancy restaurants even in its scariest incarnation. The group moves on through their inexorable 30s and 40s, finally wrapping up the story in their 50s, one dead, two estranged, the two close girlfriends still hanging on to their friendship despite babies and careers and families. The magical camp in the woods of Massachusetts where they all met (Spirit-in-the-Woods) in the 1970s plays a role as they age, Jules & Dennis returning as caretakers for a year. Secrets are held and revealed, money is made and squandered. A rapist goes unpunished. Thin on certain aspects and relationships (Jules & her mom) while thick on others (Jules & Evan, Jules & Ash, Jules & Dennis). Definitely a lovely way to spend an afternoon soaking up the lives of others.