All Adults Here is the brand new novel from Emma Straub, the New York Times bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers. Known for her wisdom and humour, Emma takes on family divides and unspoken truths in her latest novel, published by the Michael Joseph imprint of Penguin Books.
Now in her seventies, Astrid Strick has decided to be honest with her three children. She’d done her best to learn from her mistakes with every child she had; trying to keep up with their needs but never feeling like she quite got it right. After seeing a lifelong acquaintance being knocked down and killed by a school bus, Astrid’s no longer happy keeping her relationship with her hairdresser, Birdie, a secret any longer. Her children will have to learn to accept she’s in love with a woman, but it also means she has an apology to make to one of her sons.
Astrid isn’t the only member of the family with secrets; her daughter Porter is hiding her pregnancy, her eldest son Elliot is more worried about image than happiness and her youngest, Nicky, is sending his daughter to live with Astrid after getting into trouble at school. They all have their own problems, and even their shared ones are handled very differently.
All Adults Here incorporates several issues and changes facing families daily; sexuality, gender, sibling rivalry, choosing solo parenting and more.
Focusing on one family, Emma Straub captures some gloriously witty and painfully on-point insights into all ages and family dynamics. Her writing is so fluid and full of warmth that it makes for effortless, enjoyable reading. One of the themes I really enjoyed was how situations could be seen differently from various perspectives. For example, the older brother, Elliot feels that Astrid was tougher on him than anyone else. From Astrid’s perspective, she learnt to be slightly softer and ended up going easier on her son Nicky, only reinforcing everyone’s impressions that he was the favourite child.
My favourite character was Cecelia, Nicky’s daughter who he sends to live with his mother. She’s a wonderful catalyst and has an absolute heart of gold. People find her easy to talk to, and she often struggles with knowing so much, but whenever she gets in trouble, it’s always for a good reason.
All Adults Here is a heartwarming novel of family, friendship and honesty with some truly wonderful characters. I’ve read so much crime recently that this has made a refreshing change of pace that has still managed to keep me engrossed.
If you liked All Adults Her by Emma Straub, you’d love The Glass House by Eve Chase.
Buy your copy of All Adults Here by Emma Straub now.