When Annie Hall first came out, I saw it with my mother. I was a senior in high school, and I was absolutely transported. It’s still one of my favorite movies. My mother, on the other hand, was disturbed by it. She was dismayed by the easy way Annie moved in with Woody Allen’s character, without being married, and the casual nature of the sexual relationships throughout the movie. It seemed like a sea-change to her.
Sara Gran’s novel, while I liked and appreciated it, feels like a sea-change to me, a generation later. I guess I’m the now the older person reading about a younger one; about a younger person whose choices I don’t always understand and whose “lifestyle” is foreign to me. That’s a good reason to read books, of course, and while Claire has a drug issue – it’s presented as almost normal for her to be snorting cocaine off her house keys – it turns out that her drug use, like everything else in this novel, is a journey of self-discovery for her.