Voiced by a forty-year-old architect, this vignette of modern life presents a witty window into dysfunctional family dynamics and the pressure on women to have children.
Short and brilliantly bittersweet, Marie Aubert’s Grown Ups packs plenty of existential trials into its 160 pages. Honest, entertaining, and poignant with it, Grown Ups shows how many of us never quite grow up through its nuanced, droll portrayal of family dynamics.
Single architect Ida isn’t terribly keen on children - “other people’s children, always, everywhere” - but, at forty, as her family gather at their country cabin to celebrate her mother’s 65th birthday, she’s considering freezing her eggs for the future. Sibling tension and rivalry is succinctly and potently evoked from the outset, delivered through Ida’s engaging first-person narrative that often drifts into introspective monologues. Her younger sister Marthe is insecure, desperate to conceive, and envious of Ida. At the same time, Ida competes with Marthe (“She can’t overtake me”), sick of Tinder, and desperate for physical closeness, “to have someone come up behind me, hold me, their breath at my neck.” The cracks that come in the wake of Marthe’s big announcement widen further during their mother’s birthday meal, leaving both sisters forever changed.
Ida is a forty-year-old architect, single and struggling with the feeling of panic as she realises her chances of motherhood are rapidly falling away from her. She's navigating Tinder and contemplating freezing her eggs - but tries to put a pause on these worries as she heads out to the family country cabin for her mother's 65th birthday.
That is, until some supposedly wonderful news from her sister sets old tensions simmering, building to an almighty clash between Ida and her sister, her mother, and her entire family. Exhilarating, funny, and unexpectedly devastating, Grown Ups gets up close and personal with a dysfunctional modern family.
Exhilarating, funny and unexpectedly devastating, Grown Ups asks what kind of adult you are without a family of your own.
|Publication date:||3rd June 2021|
|Collections:||Summer Is Here - Feast Your Eyes on LoveReading's Ever-growing List of Summer Reading Recommendations,|
|Primary Genre||Family Drama|
Marie Aubert made her debut in 2016 with the short story collection Can I Come Home With You, which sold more than 10,000 copies in Norway. Grown Ups is her first novel, and won the Young People's Critics' Prize (Norway's equivalent to the Goncourt des lyceens) and was nominated for the Booksellers' Prize. Rights have already been sold in ten other countries.More About Marie Aubert