TITLE: All Adults Here
AUTHOR: Emma Straub
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Setting: Upstate NY
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.)