The Adults by Caroline Hulse
Publishing Date: 23rd August 2018
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
MEET THE ADULTS.
Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug.
Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit.
Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…
But what happened? They said they’d all be adults about this…
* * * * *
If you loved THE BREAK by Marian Keyes or raved about THE ROSIE PROJECT – look no further than THE ADULTS.
“The Adults” introduce us to Matt and Claire, their daughter Scarlett and her imaginary 5 foot tall purple rabbit Posey. Nothing wring here, right, except for the fact that Matt and Claire are ex – spouses and they both have new partners, Alex and Patrick. Still nothing wrong, right? Up to this moment, when Matt comes up with this super – dooper great idea (he had good intentions. He thought only about Scarlett!) of spending the entire Christmas holidays together, in a theme park. Together, like, 2 exes, their new partners, their daughter and Posey. Well, what could go wrong? They’re all adults, no?
Actually, everything could go wrong. Matt is not completely over Claire, or at least it looks like this, Scarlett fears Alex and her being a scientist and killing rabbits (so not true – but you see where it’s going), Patrick trying to prove that he’s really someone different and Claire being the stoic one, taking everything on her chin. But they’re really adults, so they can get it right.
Already the idea for this book: 4 adults, among them 2 ex’s, 1 child and 1 imaginary five foot high purple rabbit Posey going together on Christmas holidays – I mean, mayhem is vouchsafe, right? I was hoping for a brilliant family drama with a great touch of humour to it, and I’ve got quite such a story, that I totally loved.
The characters are very well – rounded, except for – and I’m really sorry to say it – Scarlett. She was 7 years old, going on 70, except for her imaginary rabbit Posey there was not much of a child in her. She was just too mature for my liking, the way she was speaking was more an adult and not a child in her age, and it bothered me. But altogether, they were all so… you know, human, so true to life, with all their flaws and little lies and secrets and vague hints. Matt was a man – child and I wasn’t sure what both of them, Alex and Claire, have seen in him to be honest. Alex tried, she tried so hard and for most of the story I really liked her but I hated her being so meek around Matt – she should have bang his head on the wall and not try to pacify him. Claire was too perfect to be true and Patrick, well I think Patrick was the most entertaining one of them all, with his insecurities and his “punching over his weight”. They were all so different, which only made the story even more captivating, as they all had their flaws and their own personalities that I either agreed with or didn’t agree, and so you could often catch me rolling my eyes, sighing, wanting to bang some heads together. They’ve seen things differently, which added tons of banter and humour to the book, as they tried to convince the others to their views. They felt real and honest, and that’s all what counts. They made me feel frustrated, I wanted to shake them and palm them in their faces – I simply lived their lives together with them.
The story is told from three points of view: Alex and Patrick’s, who are the new partners of Matt and Claire, two ex’s, and the daughter of the last two, Scarlett. Oh, and sometimes also Posey, Scarlett’s imaginary rabbit. It was a great idea, I think, as it gave us the great perspective of how it is to watch people you love in everyday patterns with their ex, and how different they are towards the present partner and towards their ex, how different their perspective on the same thing could be, how they start to see things that they haven’t see before, or had not wanted to see. There were also chapters interspersed throughout from the police investigations, and of course, there are as many opinions and variations as there are people.
This story reminded me much of Claire Sandy’s books and writing, and she’s the queen of creating messy but loving families – I love her books, and “The Adults” come now very close. I think this is this kind of book that you must be able to also read between the lines to completely get the feeling, the characters and to appreciate the events, and I really liked it – it was clever, intelligent and not straight – forward.
Caroline Hulse has explored relationships in a clever, genuine and brutally honest way. Some of the situations made me laugh out loud, some made me cringe with embarrassment, but they were never even close to ridiculousness, they were still close to life and realistic. I loved the writing style – it was witty and chatty and offbeat. The author could truly well capture all the feelings and insecurities of the characters, and show what really makes them tick. “The Adults” was a great and entertaining domestic drama, a comedy of errors that felt like a real breath of fresh air. You know from the beginning that the things won’t go smoothly and the way the action developed truly lived up to my expectations. Even though the story deals with some heavier, intense issues it is still a light read.
It’s actually not so easy to write this review, guys, as it usually is with books that you really like, that you liked everything about them, and I really liked “The Adults”. Except from one or two issues that I had a little problem but could also live with, there was nothing that I didn’t like in this book, so really, what I could say is that it was bloody brilliant read, just up to my street and go, treat yourself to a copy, I’m sure you’re going to find it entertaining, amusing and also thought – provoking. Highly recommended!
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