“Conversations You Have at Twenty” reads like a catalog of relationship red flags. There are epic fights, reckless sex, psychosomatic ailments, and a cast of casualties and enablers. Maud and Jake bring out the worst in each other because their connection is founded on the worst of their respective pasts. For a woman of twenty, this is love.
Mad love is elevated in literature, sensationalized in the news, glorified through the cinematic lens, as though losing grip of oneself is the ultimate expression of devotion. With her candor, Maud Newton cuts it down to size. Breaking from romantic convention at all turns, the end of her love affair is the happy ending.