“That was the very worst part of being an adult, understanding that there was no fairness in the world.”
Widow Astrid Strick has an announcement to her family. She is in a romantic relationship with her female haircutter. Years after the passing of her husband, Astrid wants to be happy with her new partner but first, she needs to face with the results of her parenting style, and deal with the issues of her children: Elliot with his failed dream of being a lawyer, Nicky, her famous Hollywood son, and Birdie and her dream of raising a child even without a husband by her side.
A typical American family is put into focus in this new novel by author Emma Straub. In “All Adults Here,” there’s honesty about life’s reality but with a warm tone. In lead character Astrid Strick’s family, readers could relate to their story, their daily struggles, as well as, with their happy moments.
“All Adults Here” follows the story of widow Astrid Strick and her two adult sons and one unmarried daughter. In Clapham, a fictional town near New York, readers would get a glimpse of their individual lives in alternating chapters: from Astrid’s romantic relationship with her female haircutter, to Birdie, her daughter who wants to be a single mother amid her messy relationship with a married former high school boyfriend, to Astrid’s granddaughter Cecelia and her own teenage world.
All of Straub’s characters have interesting stories. The family relationship in her story is complex but in a relatable way. It touches with issues such as abortion, bullying, extramarital affairs, and gender fluidity, with such depth. Their intertwining tales are well told which makes reading this novel a fun read. Like reading a warm book but with all of its honesty. While most of the focus is with Astrid, Cecelia, and her daughter Birdie, I like reading Cecelia’s father Nicky’s POV more, for I rarely came across with that kind of story as his.
Sun god Worthy (4 out of 5 stars). “All Adults Here” is a discussion about family life, and life in general. This novel reminds us that ordinary stories are worthy of being told in a book. The story ends in a festival parade with the family members somewhat resolving their issues. In most instances, I’ll be annoyed with such a cliché ending, but a happy ending fits this novel.