I have been reading dysfunctional family comedies since my teenage years, and Emma Straub's latest has all the makings of a classic. Astrid, who lives in a picturesque Hudson Valley town, is widowed and has secretly taken up with a new love. Her three kids, Elliot the driven builder, Porter the nurturing goat farmer, and Nick the former actor who may or may not now have a profession, all parents or parents to be, are coping with the repercussions of youthful decisions, which may or may not be the fault of their mother. When Nick’s daughter Cecelia has trouble at her Brooklyn school, the family decides to send her to Clapham to start anew, and that, as well as unexpected death of Astrid’s long-time rival, sets several runaway trains on a collision course. There’s something very circa-2019 about the story – teenage bullying, sexual assault of various stripes, and at least two LGBTQ plotlines. But in the end, the questions raised by the delightful All Adults Here is timeless; can the family come to terms with their past so they can enjoy the present? Since this is a comedy, a positive outcome is likely!— Daniel Goldin
May 2020 Indie Next List
“A single sudden and shocking occurrence jolts Astrid Strick — widow, mother, and small-town stalwart — into reassessing her life, especially her failings with her three grown children. Even as she tries to find a path toward redemption, it’s clear her offspring are nursing different hurts. Straub’s lovely and charming comic novel explores the messy and dissonant truths that underpin the illusions we maintain about those closest to us. No one is at fault, and everyone is to blame. Even adults have to grow up. Utterly charming and completely engrossing.”
— Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA
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
“Literary sunshine.”—New York Times
“The queen of the summer novel.”—Entertainment Weekly
"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.
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.
About the Author
Emma Straub is from New York City. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Vacationers and Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published by Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, Time, Slate, and the New York Times, and she is a staff writer for Rookie. Straub lives with her husband in Brooklyn, where she also works as a bookseller.