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These Days Are Ours


These Days Are Ours

Michelle Haimoff’s debut novel, THESE DAYS ARE OURS, is a great find. Though it can be fun to find parallels between yourself and, say, an Austen character or a Bond Girl, it was not until I read Haimoff’s work that I discovered one could relate so completely to a character from literature. The result was refreshing and comforting; I am happy to know there is a writer out there willing to put forth a book so fresh and honest.

"I am grateful to Michelle Haimoff for her willingness to describe this reality in a book that is at once fun, sad and overwhelmingly true."

THESE DAYS ARE OURS begins when Hailey returns to her home in New York City after graduating from college. She has no direction --- let alone job --- and the plot follows her as she navigates interviews, her new relationship to her family (she’s back home, but does she belong there?), romances and friendships. The book is set in 2002, the summer after 9/11, hence a general torpor extends above the scenes in bars and upper-class parties, and blends with Haimoff’s own lost sense of self. New York is still recovering from the shock of the tragedy and trying to “find itself,” as is she.

Haimoff writes very well; her style perfectly captures her subjects with great, realistic dialogue. Yet what I appreciated most about the book is Haimoff’s willingness to depict Hailey’s early-20s malaise. As a recent college graduate myself, I can attest to the fact that starting a new life with no direction is not necessarily freeing; rather, it can be quite scary, especially in a depressed economy. This anomie can linger about those of us who did not graduate right after 9/11 --- in fact, the temporal specificity of the book is its weakest point.

Yet, though Haimoff chooses New York City as her setting (and depicts it very accurately) --- both because it is probably what she knows and because it provides an exciting, glamorous backdrop for the tale (which succeeds in further highlighting Hailey’s unhappiness) --- the message is universal: one’s 20s are not always peachy! Even though we twentysomethings may drink, party, observe holidays and fall in love, some of us, like Hailey, feel overwhelmed by a sense of aimlessness and uncertain self-worth, especially those of us who move home to a limbo between one’s identity as a college student and a “real person.” “An age of no responsibilities,” you say? True, if you don’t count the weight of one’s responsibility towards the entire, unknown future. It is easy to buckle under this pressure, regardless of where you live or where you went (or didn’t go) to school.

I am grateful to Michelle Haimoff for her willingness to describe this reality in a book that is at once fun, sad and overwhelmingly true.

Reviewed by Katherine Tandler on March 15, 2012

These Days Are Ours
by Michelle Haimoff

  • Publication Date: February 28, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1455500291
  • ISBN-13: 9781455500291