All Adults Here
I’ve read earlier books by Ms. Straub, with mixed results. This one, I really like.
ALL ADULTS HERE tells of Astrid Strick, who, at 68, is a widow, mother, and grandmother. She is entering a new relationship at a time of self-doubt. At the same time, though, her three grown children are each experiencing personal crises, forcing her to question the kind of mother she has been.
Ms. Straub knows the nuts and bolts of writing. Her prose is smooth and clever, filled with one-liners and trendy metaphors. So there’s a plus.
Another one? The characters are eminently likable. Their crises are real, their actions and reactions believable. Each character has flaws, just like we real people do. There is at least one person in ALL ADULTS HERE with whom each of us can identify.
Because – and here’s the first of my qualms – there are lots of characters. Between Astrid, her friend Birdie, Astrid’s children Porter, Eliot, and Nicky, Nicky’s daughter Cecelia, Cecilia’s friend Robin, Porter’s erstwhile heartthrob and his abhorrent teenage daughter – phew, lots of folks to keep track of, especially when you’re listening to the audiobook, which I was.
Then came the issues. The author has thrown in a kitchen sink worth of hot-button ones. And it isn’t that those issues aren’t valid, just that tackling so many takes away from the power of one.
And then there is the endless internal narrative, the lengthy rumination by each of the characters. Frankly, it got tiring. I began to yearn for action.
ALL ADULTS HERE is about motherhood, sibling bonding, sexuality (straight, bi- and trans-), teenaged angst, and mid-life crises, to name a few. But it all is interesting, rooted in characters I cared for, hence my 4-star rating.