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All Adults Here: A Novel
by Straub Emma

Published: 2020-05-04T00:0
Hardcover : 368 pages
6 members reading this now
12 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
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 ...

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Introduction

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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

From the publisher:
1. Discuss the examples you see in this particular multi-generational family, or in your own life, of the ways that children can repeat or mutate the strengths and the mistakes that their parents handed down to them.

2. Astrid thinks about the role that birth order has played in the personalities of her three children, and how their own individual childhood experiences have helped to shape the adults they have become. To what degree do you think she is correct in her conclusions about the forces that shaped her children? In what ways are the choices they have made as adults reflective of their younger selves? How much do you think birth order plays a role?

3. Why does Astrid choose to tell her children about her relationship with Birdie when she does? What results from that conversation? Why does she keep this relationship from her kids for as long as she does? Do you think Birdie becomes part of the Strick family over the course of the novel?

4. Compare and contrast Nicky and Juliette’s marriage with Elliot and Wendy’s. How are these two couples portrayed?

5. In what ways does Rachel provide Porter with certain aspects of partnership? How does Porter value her relationship with Rachel and how do her feeling change over the course of the book?

6. What do Cecelia and August understand about forgiveness that the older characters do not? How do they provide the adults with a model for how to be true to yourself and what you believe?

From the Today Show- Read with Jenna:
1. "All Adults Here" explores a family through characters of all different ages and stages of life. How does the author write from all these different perspectives in a way that resonates and feels relatable?

2. The author, Emma Straub, has said, “For me, the book is really about the point in life when you're in the middle of that Venn diagram, and are both a parent and a child simultaneously.” Is this a period of life that you know something about? Did you gain any new insights from reading this book?

3. How does the title resonate with the story, the characters and the mood of the book?

4. The family in "All Adults Here" is centered in a small town in upstate New York, and two of the adult siblings find themselves raising their own children in the same town where they grew up. How do you think that fact influences their adult lives? Would this be a positive or a negative for you?

5. The mother character thinks about the role that birth order has played in the personalities of her three children and how their own individual childhood experiences shaped the adults they became. To what degree do you think she is correct? How much do you think birth order plays a role?

6. "All Adults Here" looks at parenting both from the parent and child perspective. Astrid, the matriarch, reckons with mistakes she made as a parent, while her adult children reckon with their own parenting mistakes. Straub prefaces the novel with this dedication: “For my parents, who did their best, and for my children, for whom I am doing mine.” Discus the messiness of parenting and the role of forgiveness.

7. What do the middle school-aged characters, Cecelia and August, understand about forgiveness that the older characters do not? How do they provide the adults with a model for how to be true to yourself and what you believe?

8. Ultimately, this is a novel about community — both as a family and a town. How does the influence of community come to bear on the outcome of the plot? What is the role of community in your own life?

9. This novel addresses serious issues around pregnancy, sexuality, identity and bullying. How does the author juggle these kinds of issues with humor and levity? How important is humor to you as a reader?

10. This novel is coming out in a very strange climate. Did you find it a useful antidote to the current anxiety of the world? Did you appreciate the way it tackles profound issues while also warming the heart and bringing joy? Did it resonate with the current struggles you see around you, the importance of taking care of each other?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Member Reviews

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  "Relationship problems loom large as do sexual gender issues."by thewanderingjew (see profile) 05/15/20

All Adults Here: A Novel, Emma Straub, author; Emily Rankin, narrator
The book immerses the reader into several serious areas of discussion, like parenting, single motherhood, sexual prefer
... (read more)

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