"Nate had not always been the kind of guy women called an asshole. Only recently had he been popular enough to inspire such ill will."
With this, readers are introduced to Nate Piven: an up-and-coming Brooklyn writer with a book deal in his pocket and a long history of failed relationships. Nate wears his badge of progressive, politically correct manhood with pride, but repeatedly finds himself disappointing the women around him as he is searches for contentment, both in and out of love.
From its blurb, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. sounds like another story to toss on the stacks of books and movies that attempt to unravel young adulthood and fear of commitment. But pigeonholing the book would be a huge disservice to Waldman and the smart, careful work she’s done. Though Waldman uses Nate’s relationships as her lens, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is much more a study of a generation of young men than it is an examination of love and sex.
Throughout the novel, Nate struggles to meld the conflicting beliefs of his parents, peers and lovers to form a future for himself, regularly questioning which group is right. As he stumbles, Waldman is able to make readers feel both searingly critical and quietly understanding of Nate, who begins to represent much more than his hunt for love. With a hilariously truthful voice, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. brilliantly peels apart the vastly different layers that make up the complexities new adulthood.
Blog: River City Reading