Summary and book reviews of The Adults by Caroline Hulse

The Adults

by Caroline Hulse

The Adults by Caroline Hulse X
The Adults by Caroline Hulse
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2018, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 5, 2019, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Adrienne Pisch
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About this Book

Book Summary

A couple (now separated), plus their daughter, plus their new partners, all on an epic Christmas vacation. What could go wrong?

Meet The Adults.

Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a "normal" family Christmas. They can't agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, 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 (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance Ironman in Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He's a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much after Scarlett's bedtime, overshare classified secrets about their pasts ... and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins - with a tearful, frightened call to the police.

What happened? They said they'd all be adults about this...

Chapter 1

Matt had known about the trip for months before he dropped it into conversation.

Matt didn’t deliberately keep things from Alex; he just dealt with complicated thoughts like he dealt with his post.

When letters landed in the hallway, Matt stepped over them or, when they could no longer be ignored, crammed them into any nook he could find. Next to the cooker, on the bookshelf; the letters went anywhere that was easy-reach and tucked away and—most important—had no established retrieval system.

Hence, Matt absolved himself from any sense of urgency and, if the sender tried to contact him again, Matt seemed (and, Alex came to realize, actually was) genuinely surprised the issue hadn’t just gone away.

Within weeks of Matt moving in, Alex had piles of envelopes in places in her house where there had never been piles before.

After the first few times she spent pulling envelopes out of what had once been—unappreciated at the time—empty nooks, Alex ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Despite my concern about tone, I truly enjoyed the book. It is a great drama about the collision of old and new loves, and the characters are memorable and entertaining. If you're still recovering from the real-world tumult of the holidays, consider losing yourself in the fictional chaos of The Adults.   (Reviewed by Adrienne Pisch).

Full Review Members Only (617 words).

Media Reviews

Good Housekeeping (UK)
Brilliantly funny.

The Sunday Mirror (UK)
Razor-sharp comedy.

Booklist
An entertaining, tongue-in-cheek tale of people who are the adults, after all.

Kirkus Reviews
A bit too heavily staged, but with good dialogue and some nice farcical moments.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This debut is the whole package: realistic, flawed characters placed in an increasingly tense situation, resulting in a surprising, suspenseful novel.

Library Journal
Starred Review. A snappy writing style and changing viewpoints make the pages of this debut fly by as readers will want to know what happens next.

Author Blurb Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement
I happily devoured this funny, insightful novel and believe you will, as well.

Author Blurb Katie Khan, author of Hold Back the Stars
Such a breath of fresh air! Witty, intensely human, and (dare I say it) relatable ... This novel is the perfect comedy of errors.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Imaginary Friends

Artistic rendition of a girl with an imaginary friendOne of the most memorable characters in The Adults is not one of the titular adults, but a four-foot-tall purple bunny named Posey. Posey is seven-year-old Scarlett's imaginary friend, and - like a real person - he has fears, desires and opinions. But how normal are imaginary friends?

A study from the University of Oregon suggests that by age seven, 37% of children have created an imaginary companion. After age seven it becomes increasingly less common, though there are instances of imaginary friendships that carry into the teen years (and even adulthood). Boys tend to create male imaginary friends, while girls don't have a particular gender preference. These make-believe companions can come in all shapes, sizes and species. After all, ...

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