Review: All Adults Here by Emma Straub (audio)


 

Title: All Adults Here
Author: Emma Straub
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Published: May 2020, Penguin Audio
Length: 11 hours 5 minutes
Source: ALC via Libro.fm

Summary:

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.

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.


 

My thoughts: This is the first time I’ve read anything by Emma Straub. I’ve seen her books around and this one just called to me – being from a big family, I love reading about books that tackle families and their issues and boy does this one do that.

This is definitely a character-driven novel and I had no problem with that. I tend to enjoy those every now and again, and loved that this one included such interesting, quirky characters. Family dynamics are always so intriguing to me and when you start to get into how relationships are forged between parents and their children, I am always gung-ho. I just felt that at times, this one was a little all-over the place. Rather than focusing on a few issues, this tried to cover too many at once therefore never really digging too deep into any one issue.

Overall, it was a good story, but not necessarily my favorite. It is very much a slowburn and takes a while to meander to the point.





Audio thoughts: Emily Rankin does the narration for this book and I thought she did a fantastic job. Her pacing and intonation were spot on and I thought she infused just the right amount of emotion into her voice as needed. Had I been reading the print version of this book, I might not have finished, but the audio kept me engaged, so kudos to Emily Rankin!

 

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