Saturday, May 30, 2020

All Adults Here; Emma Straub


AUTHOR:  Emma Straub
PUBLISHER:  Penguin Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Setting: Upstate NY
Format: audio
Rating - 4/5

Astrid Strick is a 68 year old mother and grandmother to 3 adult children, it's a family where everyone seems to have issues they are struggling with.  Astrid is a widow, very matter-of-fact, not at all warm and fuzzy. Now in her senior years she's been keeping a secret from her children, she's attracted to her female hairdresser, Birdie.

As the story opens, Astrid witnesses a woman she has long known killed by an empty speeding school bus. It is this incident that causes her to reflect on earlier days as a young woman and mother and how she could have been a better mother to her children.  The untimely death of this woman forces Astrid to look back, try to make amends and decide how she wants to live her life moving forward.

As the reader I felt like I got to know the quirky, yet well-crafted characters and messy lives quite well. Eldest son Elliot is parent to twins works in real estate development, middle child Porter, 37 decides to have a baby in a non traditional manner and youngest child Nicky is unfocused, sending his 13 y/old daughter, Cecelia, upstate to live with Astrid after an incident at her school back in Brooklyn. There were plenty of social issues that surfaced in this novel: sexual and gender identity, child-rearing, bullying and more. Although there definitely wasn't a strong story line in this novel,  I enjoyed the time I spent with these flawed characters and their life struggles.  

The audio book was read by Emily Rankin who did a great job.

(Audio download provided by by Penguin Audio in exchange for an unbiased review.)

11 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting. Getting a view of some of the problems that plague many families if the characters are well-developed can give us insight into our friends and family. Few of us have truly interesting plots to our lives. :)

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  2. I have not tried this author yet. Good to know you liked this one.

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  3. I think most moms (and dads) wonder if they could have been a better parent. I am sure this one deals with that well.

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  4. I have this on audio, as well, and look forward to listening. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Diane.

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  5. I've been hearing a lot about Emma Straub recently, but I've yet to read any of her books. Maybe I'll start with this one.

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  6. Sounds very real life to me!

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  7. This book sounds very good. I have it on my list but have been going back and forth between wanting to read it and unsure how it will be. Gotto try it now.

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  8. From the cover, I thought this would be rather light-hearted so I have not paid much attention to it. A woman getting run over by a bus is definitely not what the cover implies with all those fun, bright colors.

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  9. If the characters are quirky enough a lack of storyline can be overlooked :)

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