Grown Ups

Author : Marian Keyes

Genre : Family Drama

Publisher : Michael Joseph -an imprint of Penguin

Year of Publication : 2020

Number of Pages : 633

My Rating : 4 out of 5

I totally fell in love with Marian Keyes after reading Sushi for Beginners. It led me to her other books which I also absolutely loved. I know it says ‘gloriously funny’ on this book’s cover – a quote from the Sunday Times – but it was more of drama than humor to me. This is especially so when I compare it with some of her other totally hilarious ones, like Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Rachel’s Holiday.

The book is based on the Casey family, complete with a family tree, so we know who fits where – and once you tally all the children, they are quite a number. The three Casey brothers are close and spend a lot of time together, despite their estrangement from their very cold and distant parents.

The family is fairly well-to-do (or at least Johnny and his wife Jessie are) so a good portion of the book features them at elaborate dinners or on holidays in picturesque destinations. We see the usual family dynamics play out, as the different characters encounter their own unique challenges.

The book is quite voluminous at over 600 hundred pages. It took me a while to get into the story, I suppose due to the many characters, each with their own backstory and peculiarities. In fact, this felt more like several stories told together. Thankfully, once the story got going, I found myself pretty much drawn into it and I was easily able to follow the different story lines. I enjoyed the way that Marian expertly combined them into one tightly woven tale and, towards the end, I could not put the book down.

Whilst the story was not ‘laugh out loud’ (at least not for me), there was a lot of humor in it together with all the family drama. The characters felt pretty familiar to me. I loved the interactions between them, as I got to know them and watch as they evolved. Marian explores some pretty serious themes in the book as she reveals the characters’ strengths and weaknesses.

There was no part of this story that I did not like and I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys warm family stories about relationships and the trials and tribulations that we all have to deal with in every day life. I especially loved that this story does not take itself too seriously and none of the characters is reflected as being perfect.

I rate this heartwarming story as a 4. The only reason why it did not get a 5 is because I enjoyed some of Marian’s books so much more and actually laughed out loud!

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