THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD by Claire Lombardo
I finished The Most Fun We Ever Had weeks ago, after a rather agonizing month-long reading experience, and despite my fondness for writing negative reviews, finding the motivation to review this book has been… a struggle; so happy was I to be blissfully done with it. The only thing compelling me to write this review now is the promise that after I click post I will never have to think about this book and these inane characters ever again.
The most frustrating thing about this book to me was its wasted potential. When I started reading it, I was sure I was going to love it in the same way I love soap operas; I’m a sucker for mindless, messy, salacious family drama. This could have been 200 pages shorter; it could have been an unapologetically entertaining romp through the ripple effects of one daughter’s unplanned pregnancy 15 years after she gave the child up for adoption; it could have been a lot of things. Instead it was agonizingly, embarrassingly sincere. Meet David and Marilyn, the parents: they’re still disgustingly in love after all these years. Meet their children: Wendy’s a fuck-up, Violet’s frigid, Liza’s naive, Grace is the baby. Meet Violet’s illegitimate child, Jonah: he’s never known stability so he has trouble adjusting to it. Congratulations, you have now read The Most Fun We Ever Had.
None of these characters undergoes any development. Any. At all. This book is 532 pages. That is 532 pages of painfully one-note characters arguing with each other about any given character’s one (1) allocated personality trait. The repetition is insufferable. And yet, this book really believes it has something to say? The reader is simply bashed over the head with the most mundane and trite pontifications on life and love and growing up and it’s all so bizarrely earnest for the fact that none of it has any particular depth.
The one thing I will hand Lombardo is that her treatment of the family’s wealth was very self-conscious and well-executed; it’s tempting to dismiss this as a ‘rich people problems book’ (and it’s understandable if that’s a premise that just flat-out does not interest you), but I did feel like Lombardo did a good job contextualizing their struggles and providing a somewhat thoughtful commentary on class disparity.
But ultimately a pretty massive waste of time.
You can pick up a copy of The Most Fun We Ever Had here on Book Depository.