• Rachel Penate

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

SUMMARY: "When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?

Astrid’s youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her daughter is intentionally pregnant yet struggling to give up her own adolescence. And her eldest seems to measure his adult life according to standards no one else shares. But who gets to decide, so many years later, which long-ago lapses were the ones that mattered? Who decides which apologies really count? It might be that only Astrid’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter and her new friend really understand the courage it takes to tell the truth to the people you love the most.

In All Adults Here, Emma Straub’s unique alchemy of wisdom, humor, and insight come together in a deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood, whether we like them to or not." (Adapted from Goodreads)

REVIEW: I'm really not sure why it's taken me so long to write this review. This was one of those books that drew out so many "mmhhmmm" moments in me. You know those moments? Where something resonates in just the perfect way that you can't help but audibly agree?

ALL ADULTS HERE is definitely a book for those who don't mind a slow, character-driven story. While the narrative was sluggish to unravel (at times), as a story, this book resonated in so many ways. I think most specifically, ALL ADULTS HERE offers opportunities to reflect on parenthood and the beauty of familial bonds.

I also loved the three generational portrayal of "coming of age" experiences. I thought that was a really special way to write a story. We are never done growing as human beings and sometimes our journey's apex comes a little later than expected.

ALL ADULTS HERE takes ★★★★ from me. A definite recommendation if you're in the mood for a more cerebral literary fiction.

SENSITIVITY WARNINGS: loss of a spouse/parent, abortion, transphobia & homophobia

{ Special thanks to libro.fm and Penguin Audio for this gifted ALC copy! }

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