Today, it’s another book review of a book that I loved recently. It’s the wonderful new novel from bestselling author, Marian Keyes: Grown Ups!
I first read Marian Keyes’ writing with her previous book The Break and I loved it and I was excited to see her with a brand new novel, Grown Ups so I ordered a copy straight away – especially with the gorgeous sprayed edges from Waterstones! But first, what’s it about? Here’s the blurb:
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?
This is a big book – over 600 pages! But it’s a book that I couldn’t put it down and I read it in a few days of having it – it’s that good. There’s a lot to love in this book, most notably Keyes’ ability to make everything grounded and real with her signature voice and tone. There’s a big ensemble of characters in the book and I can’t even imagine how she managed to keep on top of them and their individual stories at once.
While there’s a big cast of characters, you get used to them quickly – just like a family. I also loved the structure of the book. We open with Johnny’s birthday party with all the family present but Cara, after having concussion, she starts to spill out everyone’s secrets… for me, it’s this family unit – seems strong, stable, a bit like a ball of elastic bands, once you take one away, everything spirals out of control. And then we go back in time, looking in on the Casey family leading up to Jonny’s birthday party.
While this is funny and humorous, Keyes highlights important and vital issues and themes in the book. From writing about eating disorders with sensitivity, period poverty, asylum seekers and some beautiful writing about death, life, love, identity, relationships and so much more. There’s a lot to love in this novel and it’s a book I’m still thinking about – I loved being in the world of the brilliant, hilarious, heartbreaking Casey family. I loved how she explored the idea of growing up with a number of characters – from the youngest right up to the oldest where they ask themselves: do we ever know what we’re doing? Do we ever ‘grow up?’
Everything felt so visual and cinematic and I would love to see this on television – I think it would be a brilliant TV series to fully explore the different characters and stories. No wonder why this is a bestseller around the world. I can’t wait to see what she writes next. I loved it. A perfect read for an entire weekend, too.
Have you read Grown Ups? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!