From the New York Times‒bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college—their own kids now going to college—and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.


“Ms. Straub writes with such verve and sympathetic understanding of her characters. . .[An] entertaining novel. . . deftly and thoughtfully written.” – Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“It’s ‘Friends’ meets ‘Almost Famous’ meets the beach read you’ll be recommending all summer.” –TheSkimm

“Straub serves up a perfect slice of the zeitgeist with this entertaining novel about former college bandmates raising their precocious children while grappling with marital tensions and midlife crises.” –People, Named one of "Summer's Best Books"

"Straub spins her lighthearted but psychologically perceptive narrative with a sure touch as she captures the vibes of mid-life, middle-class angst and the raging hormones of youth.  She excels in establishing a sense of place: the narrative could serve as a map to gentrified Brooklyn; it’s that detailed and visually clear. Events move at a brisk pace, and surprises involving resurgent passion enliven he denouement.  Readers will devour this witty and warmly satisfying novel."
- Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

“[Modern Lovers] has the smart, cool sensibility of Straub's other novels, and you're sure to love this one just as much.” Elle

“Straub lets her characters fall apart and come together in their own messy, refreshingly human ways— always older, sometimes wiser, but never quite done coming of age.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Summer in the city has never felt so good. . . Modern Lovers celebrates the updated look and feel of familial love and all of its complexities. Straub’s clever and perceptive observations on growing up are gentle reminders that coming of age isn’t just for kids.” —The Washington Post

“With a real-estate agent, a chef, a yogi 'guru,' and teens sneaking off to do what teens do when teens sneak off— Straub’s latest has something for everyone.” Marie Claire
A lovely, satisfying early-summer read. –

“Thoughtful and hilarious, Modern Lovers proves growing up doesn’t stop in adulthood.” —Real Simple

“[Emma Straub] delights in this multi-generational tale.” Good Housekeeping

“Bestseller Emma Straub gives us an insightful look into middle age, parenthood, and the funny way that passions never fade, no matter how much time passes by.” –Harper’s Bazaar

“Straub has a gift for exposing larger truths through small, telling details. Her warmth and sense of humor electrify every page.” –New York Magazine, Vulture

“Straub has a knack for keeping relationship drama amusing.” –The Boston Globe

“[Straub has a] gentle way of producing meaning, allowing characters’ trains of thought to run freely until they end up exposing a truth at once personally significant and broadly aphoristic. The deepening feels so natural you hardly notice it happening, and then you wonder how you arrived at such an inward-facing, luminous place.” –Slate

“The humorous insight Straub brings to the page about how everyday lives are lived will make for immersive reading and rich conversation. . . Straub recounts her characters' yearnings with love and empathy, which makes the book's wit — and Modern Lovers is screamingly funny —glow with warmth." —USA Today