From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a 39-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.
Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she's a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it's what she leaves unsaid - she's alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh - that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother - who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood - and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea's niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart?
Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg's power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman's life, lived entirely on her own terms.
©2017 Jami Attenberg (P)2017 Recorded Books
Attenberg writes characters so real that I know dozens of doppelgängers for each one. The protagonist in this piece is an amalgam of everyone I love dearly. She is nihilistic, narcissistic, anarchistic, misanthropic, borderline obsessive, slightly underachieving with at least a hint of mental illness and addiction. At times I was unable to stop laughing and others I had to hide the flood of tears lest my ex-wife/girlfriend laugh at me or even worse ask me to share my feelings.
Couldn't make myself finish the book with only 2 hrs left to go. At first I was sympathetic to the main character even though she isn't that likable and I couldn't really relate to her. But you later realize she never stops playing the victim and never grows up, even into her 40s, and never makes something of herself or her life. The narration makes it even more depressing.
An unusual book. The first-person narrator is clearly somewhat disfunctional (indiscriminate sex, too much alcohol, few solid relationships) but she's somehow relatable and even likeable. She is also very witty, and the narration by Mia Barron definetely brings this out.
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