“If Love, Actually and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are your two favorite holiday movies, you’re going to love The Adults.”—Bustle
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE • “Sometimes a nasty family comedy is just what you need for the holidays.”—Entertainment Weekly
Meet The Adults.
Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did—and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance Ironman in Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much after Scarlett’s bedtime, overshare classified secrets about their pasts . . . and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins—with a tearful, frightened call to the police.
What happened? They said they’d all be adults about this. . . .
Praise for The Adults
“A delectable premise . . . Hulse skewers her characters uproariously, zeroing in on every quirk, and she humanizes them, too.”—Entertainment Weekly
“The ending is worth every page turned in this funny, redeeming wade through the rough tide of blended family.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Caroline Hulse’s farcical debut is an ode to the big personalities and drama you find in families—unconventional and not.”—Real Simple
“This wry holiday novel will make you chuckle and remind you that nobody’s family is perfect. If you’ve ever sat through an awkward family dinner (who hasn’t?), you’ll relate so hard.”—HelloGiggles
“Brilliantly funny.”—Good Housekeeping (UK)
“Razor-sharp comedy.”—Sunday Mirror
Hulse's stellar debut follows an ill-fated trip to a Christmas-themed resort in North Yorkshire, which friendly divorced couple Matt Cutler and Claire Petersen take together for the sake of their seven-year-old, Scarlett. Tension ensues when they elect to bring along their reluctant significant others. Since Matt and Claire split two years ago, Scarlett has relied on her imaginary friend, a rabbit named Posey, to express her negative feelings. Scarlett and Posey are convinced that Matt's scientist girlfriend, Alex Mount, kills animals for fun, and their fear is compounded when they witness Alex put a wounded pheasant out of its misery. Scarlett gets along better with her competitive stepdad, Patrick Asher, though he's so tightly wound and concerned about what others think that Claire can't be herself around him. Patrick misses his own children, and is repulsed by Matt's relaxed, happy-go-lucky nature, baffled about what Claire ever saw in him. As the trip progresses, he and Alex are both thrown by how well the exes get along and start to feel jealous. From the outset, readers learn that someone is shot during an archery session, and the circumstances of the incident unfold gradually and naturally. Hulse does an excellent job building her characters, consistently increasing tension by placing them in close quarters and letting their different personalities clash. This debut is the whole package : realistic, flawed characters placed in an increasingly tense situation, resulting in a surprising, suspenseful novel.
Not worth the money
I didn't particularly fall in love with the characters, so it wasn't very captivating for me. Not a bad story line, but not great
Read this and you will be happy you did
This book is delightful and unexpectedly touching as well. I loved the humanity of the characters and their moments of arseyness. I am a new reader and a new fan!