AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A TODAY SHOW #ReadWithJenna BOOK CLUB PICK!
"In a time when all we want is hope, it’s a beautiful book to reach for." -Jenna Bush Hager
"Brimming with kindness, forgiveness, humor and love and yet (magically) also a page turner that held me captive until it was finished. This is Emma Straub's absolute best and the world will love it. I love it." —Ann Patchett
“An immensely charming and warmhearted book. It’s a vacation for the soul.”—Vox
A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family--as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. From the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers, and the forthcoming novel This Time Tomorrow.
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 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Looking for a ray of light? Look no further than All Adults Here. Emma Straub, the author of the The Vacationers and Modern Lovers, is a genius at making us fall in love with flawed characters who are bumbling their way through life. In this case, she draws us into the misadventures of the Strick family from the charming Hudson Valley town of Clapham: matriarch Astrid, who’s tired of hiding a big, happy secret; oldest brother Elliot, a disgruntled real estate developer; scattered Porter, who runs a goat farm and is guarding a few secrets of her own; and younger brother Nicky, who has all but disappeared into his bohemian New York City existence. But when Nicky sends his wonderful only child, Cecilia, to live with Astrid after a nasty conflict with a classmate, the entire clan is forced to deal with lingering scars and resentments and find their way back together. Straub’s funny, warmhearted novel celebrates love in all its messy, messed-up, and redemptive forms—and invites us to believe that we’re never too old to change for the better.
In Straub's witty, topical fourth novel (after Modern Lovers), members of a Hudson Valley family come to terms with adolescence, aging, sexuality, and gender. After 68-year-old widow Astrid Strick witnesses an acquaintance get struck and killed by a bus in the center of Clapham, N.Y., she feels compelled to come clean with her children about her new relationship with Birdie, the local hairdresser, before it's too late ("there were always more school buses," she reasons). Astrid's kids have their own issues to contend with. Thirty-seven-year-old Porter, pregnant via a "stud farm" (aka a sperm bank), is having an affair with her old high school boyfriend, while Elliott, the oldest, is preoccupied with a hush-hush business proposal. Nicky, the youngest, and his wife have shipped their only child, 13-year-old Cecilia, up to live with Astrid after a messy incident at her Brooklyn school involving online pedophilia. Despite Cecilia's fear of not fitting in, she finds friendship with a boy who longs to be recognized as a girl but isn't ready to come out as trans. As per usual, Straub's writing is heartfelt and earnest, without tipping over the edge. There are a lot of issues at play here (abortion, bullying, IVF, gender identity, sexual predators) that Straub easily juggles, and her strong and flawed characters carry the day. This affecting family saga packs plenty of punch.
Modern day family dynamics
I wouldn’t exactly call this book a riveting page turner. I’d say it’s more of a relaxing, comforting, thought-provoking read. I loved getting to know the beautifully flawed, well intentioned characters in this book. Mostly based around a large adult family, it was fascinating getting to know their unique stories and perspectives. The book was very well written with nuggets of wisdom at every turn. I also appreciate how inclusive the book is, with recognition of the many forms of relationships, family, and love.
Delightful and moving
A thoroughly enjoyable read about the agony and ecstasy of being part of a family. I appreciated the perspectives of multiple generations and seeing how they struggled with their own experiences and mistakes in spite of all the best intentions.
Could Have Been Better
This novel had a feel-good storyline, and the characters were vulnerable and loveable. However, the story was quite boring through the first half as nothing eventful happened, and the characters were still being introduced. Only toward the end did the storyline get interesting. The story was enjoyable but not exciting or profound enough to make this a favorite of mine. I did appreciate the healthy and optimistic look on families, and this book is definitely worth reading as a new parent.