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Saturday, 1 February 2020

#GrownUps @MarianKeyes @MichaelJBooks

About Grown Ups

They're a glamorous family, the Caseys.

Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .

Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?

My review of Grown Ups

I am always so excited to get my hands on a new novel by Marian Keyes as you are always guaranteed a thoroughly good read. Grown Ups is no exception. It was a pure treat to read and I was so sad to say goodbye to the Casey family at the end as they had all become such good friends to me. I felt as if I knew them, inside and out.

Grown Ups is essentially a book about family and family dynamics. Every family has its secrets and difficulties, but at the end of the day they are there for each other and it is so beautifully and eloquently explored in this novel. It sheds real insight into how it feels to be part of a large Irish family and the responsibilities that you may feel at being part of this group.  Jessie is very much the matriarch, the woman at the helm who ensures the smooth running of this extended family. On the surface she is confident, capable and unflappable, but as we read we get to see the real Jessie and the pressures and strain she is under at running a business and family. I empathised and understood her completely. I adored this character.

Grown Ups is a book that tackles many serous issues, but as with every Marian Keyes novel there is also much laughter, quick wit and a thoroughly enjoyable yarn of a read. Once i started I found it incredibly hard to put this book down, as the characters got into my head and under my skin. Nell, who is very much the new member of the family, newly married to Liam, is trying to find her way in this bustling and lively family who love to do everything together. Cara also intrigued me with her straight talking nature and successful career, but like everyone else in this book, she too was harbouring a secret.

This is a fast paced book involving many characters, but you quickly learn who is who and simply go along with the ride, learning about each of the couples in turn and how their secrets will impact the story as a whole. It's a funny read, it's a sad read and by the end you understand the importance of family and that at the end of the day no one is perfect.

It also asks many questions on what it actually means to be a grown up. Who knows? Do we ever really grow up or are we all just pretending and playing the game? It's such a refreshing read as it poses these questions throughout the book and makes us come to our own conclusions. 

Grown Ups was a pure joy to read. I loved every word. I just wish that I could read it all over again for the first time. It's a heartbreaking and heartwarming read in equal measures. It's a dazzling read. 

Grown Ups is published on 6th Feb by Penguin Michael Joseph.

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy.

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