All Adults Here

All Adults Here
Emma Straub
Reviewed by Phil
To be released May 5, 2020

Astrid Strick, the matriarch of the Strick family, makes her home in the Big House in picturesque Clapham, NY. Though the family all call it the Big House, it’s not really that big. Just about big enough to raise a family – Elliott, Nicky and Porter. Now, Astrid lives alone, widowed, and with her children long left to live lives of their own. But all that is about to change.

It’s a busy day for Astrid. She’s worked in the garden in the morning, has a hair appointment at 11.30, and then has to pick up her granddaughter, Cecelia, from the station. Cecelia, daughter of Astrid’s youngest son, Nicky, and his wife Juliette, has been sent to live with her grandmother for a year to escape some travesty at her New York middle school.

Early for her hairdo, Astrid sits in her car at the roundabout that forms the center of town. She gazes out of the window at the concrete monstrosity that blights the otherwise architectural charm of Clapham – a building that, unbeknownst to Astrid, is owned by her son, Elliott, who has plans to sell it to a chain store developer. Suddenly, a speeding school bus careens towards the roundabout and knocks down an old woman standing beside her car. It’s Barbara Baker, whom Astrid has never liked. But Barbara’s sudden demise shocks Astrid into action – there are changes that need to be made to her life, and soon. After all, there are always more school buses – time is of the essence.

And so, Astrid summons her family to a grand gathering where she makes an announcement and introduces her longtime lover and friend.

All Adults Here is an engaging novel, very much in the spirit of Anne Tyler’s books: witty and fun, with sharp insights into family relationships, the frustrations that drive people apart, and the ties that gently pull them together again. It’s warm and friendly and completely delightful. The characters are rich and well-developed, with imperfections that only make them more endearing. This wonderful book will be out just in time for summer.

Emma Straub is a New York Times best-selling author whose previous novels include The Vacationers and Modern Lovers. Her works have been published in 20 countries. Straub graduated from Oberlin College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She lives in Brooklyn where she owns an independent bookstore with her husband.

All Adults Here will be released on May 5, 2020.