The Intimates

Ralph Sassone, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-374-17697-6
Two friends stumble into adulthood in Sassone's charming if shaggy debut, a triptych of episodes covering Maize and Robbie's evolving relationship. The pair date briefly in high school as Robbie tries to hide his crushes on boys, and Maize develops an intense rapport with her guidance counselor and loses her virginity to her college admissions interviewer. In the intervening years, Maize and Robbie fall in and out of touch as he heads to Italy and she takes a job as an assistant to a tyrannical real estate agent. Finally, after they become roommates in New York City, Robbie relies on Maize for moral support as he brings a boyfriend home to meet his mother. That Maize and Robbie continue to orbit each other long after their commonalities have vanished is less surprising than the fact that they do so without any apparent abiding affection for one another, and while Sassone skillfully balances their perspectives, their emotional distance from each other casts an implausible shadow over their travails and blunts the scant dramatic tension to be found in their struggles to grow up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-1-250-00239-6
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4299-2958-5
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