Cannonball Read IV: The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein
The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein is about a 22-year old girl named Esther who has just graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in theatre. The book describes the life of a post grad in an existentialist-type phase of life. It is June, Esther has just graduated, has no job, and is living with her parents again in the town in which she grew up. She is learning that the world is not everything she had always believed it was. From being used by the boy she thinks she’s in love with to being used by the man whose child she babysits, she discovers things aren’t like they are in the musicals and plays she loves.
The story begins with Esther moving back into her old house with her parents. She hangs out with friends and smokes marijuana and pops Ativan until her mother gets her a job babysitting for some neighbors. She becomes involved in the lives of the Browns, whose youngest daughter died while they were at a party at Esther’s parents’ house nearly a year before. She falls in love with their daughter, and becomes a confidant to both Mr. and Mrs. Brown until their life as a family comes apart at the seams.
I adored this book, probably because I am also a 22-year old recent graduate who is also seeking the meaning of life. There were moments of clarity for me while reading the book, and moments of hilarity. The character of Esther has a wonderful personality. It was a very easy read and very relevant to my life. However, I’m not sure how relatable it would be to anyone who is not going through a quarter life crisis. To anyone who is: This book is a must read, if only to understand that you are not alone.
(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)
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