"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

22 October 2018

2018 Book Review #34: The Grown Ups

This is a new-to-me author and she lives only 20 minutes north of my house!

My sister Joy has actually met her and has had the author's first book signed by her.

This is her 2nd novel.


A group of friends are all turning 16.  It is the summer of 1997Suzie Epstein is having her birthday party and has invited her best friends:  Bella Spade, Mindy Stevens, and sisters Ruthie and Celia Newman. She has also invited some of the guys that hang out with them, from the neighborhood:  Johnny Ross, Peter Chang, Frankie Cole, and her best guy friend Sam Turner.  Sam's older brother Michael was also their friend although he rarely hung out with them.

They all lived in the upscale town of Rye, near NYC.  And all of them had parents who had issues of one kind or another.

As they grow and move on from high school to college, they all keep in touch.

Sam and Michael's mother move out  to move in with a writer from Vermont.  Michael goes on to medical school and falls in love with Suzie.

Sam becomes a cook who is still in love with Bella but Bella, an aspiring poet who lives and teaches in NYC, is living with a young man, also a poet, named Ted who just wants Bella to move back to Montana with him.

As they navigate through life, and parents, and siblings, as well as one another, they learn  who they want to be when they grow up.

Will they remain in touch?  And what about the parents??  How do they play into the lives of these children all grown up??


Oh my.  This was marvelous.

The characters are absolutely amazing and my faves were definitely Sam and Suzie and Bella most of the time.

I loved the description of the various settings throughout the years in this book (NYC, Boston, Vermont and then back to their hometown of Rye).

I loved the way the main characters had a voice in their own chapter and that the author included the date in the chapter titles so you could see the progression of time.

The book ends when it is about 2012. 

I don't want to reveal too much of this plot because there are many nuances to it and if I said too much, it would ruin it for you.

So much happens in this story...the plot really moves forward effortlessly.

You cheer for Sam, you nod your head in approval at Michael and Suzie.  You weep with Bella at times....you weep with Sam...and.....

.....get the kleenex ready for the last chapter. It is brilliant and very moving.

This book touches on friendship, marriage, divorce, abandonment, emotional neglect, alcoholism, miscarriage, love, family drama, dementia.

The only negative thing I have to say about the book is that the "f" word is overused.  There's really no need for it at all.  I get that the author is just trying to portray a character, and that so many people in the world today use that word, but it really is crass, and low-class, and just not necessary for a book with this much depth.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to mature content in some places).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.

1 comment:

Susanne said...

Going on my library list. :)

I see you are reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I have it in my pile, meant to read it this summer but never got around to it.