I have a book recommendation! I read a lot of different books, but I am totally in love with the novel Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. I rarely read a modern book that I feel is really well written and has a compelling story. But honestly, being 22 in a new city, this story resonated with me. I will warn there are hard drugs being used frequently, but according to my roommate from New York, drugs are pretty commonplace in the City, and probably a lot of other places. But aside from the drugs, this book shares a story of a young girl trying to find her way in a new setting, and that alone made me ravish it. However, Stephanie Danler’s beautiful prose and the mixture of prose and poetry really pulled me in. I’d get in bed and say, only 10 more pages before bed, and end up reading 35 or 50. The novel is beautifully written and will make you crave good food and authentic conversation.
I think most young women in their twenties have been with someone they know is bad for them, or has been attracted to someone they know won’t treat them right. What I love about this story is the vulnerability, but also the growth of the main character, Tess, who grows to be more confident and stronger in her pursuit of what she wants. I think it also speaks volumes to the impermanent nature of relationships, both romantic and platonic, that people form in their 20s! We all want to feel like we belong; like we’re working our way up, and I think this novel tracks this battle well, while also addressing the growth and sadness that comes with getting what we want and realizing it isn’t what we want. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say this book is a must-read. It got a rave from Jay McInerney, and I think that alone speaks volumes about the promise that Stephanie Danler’s literary career holds!
Have you read it?