The Adults is a delightful, multi-perspective view of the fallout from a Christmas holiday shared by a divorced couple and their new spouses a.k.a. people who shouldn’t be in the same room together for longer than the ten minutes it takes to drop off the child they share custody of and coordinate the pick-up times, but which someone planned to last for five days. Five days in cramped quarters at the Happy Forest resort, where the divorced couple once vacationed during happier times. Is it just me or can everyone else see the carnage coming a mile away?
All the characters gets to tell their story in this one so we read from Matt, the happy-go-lucky recreational drug user who used to be married to Claire, the yin to his yang, a super-organized lawyer who makes parenting look easy, until we read from her perspective when she confesses her reasons for choosing Patrick. Patrick is Claire’s new boyfriend who she may have met even before her marriage ended and was drawn to his baldness because it meant he wouldn’t be as hair-obsessed as her husband, except even if Pat had hair, he might have shaved it to be more aerodynamic as he trains for the Ironman. In fact, Patrick is obsessed with fitness and competing with everyone for everything. So why doesn’t Claire know that if even Alex can see? Is it because people don’t notice when Alex is around? In fact, everyone seems to forget about Alex until they suddenly remember and then overcompensate to accommodate for her. Alex is the scientist dating Matt, not for any other reason than that she’d had a series of other dates that hadn’t gone well and she wants this relationship so bad that she’s prepared to overlook the fact that Matt’s still in love with his ex. Matt buys her the same gift he would buy Claire, and calls Alex by his ex-wife’s name. Nobody thinks about Alex, except Scarlett, and her imaginary rabbit named Posey, who are both convinced that Alex is a murderer, a fact they later prove. And that’s all before Christmas Day.
The book starts with a 911 call after the “accident” that happens in the Happy Forest, and we are introduced to some of the characters from their response to the incident, then we are treated to the set-up to see how things actually go down. The short chapters interspersed with police interviews keeps the narrative moving, and we get to read from other characters as they are introduced, keeping the focus on the action in this fast paced novel.
I would recommend this one to fans of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and to just about anyone dreading their own holiday plans and needing a reminder that things could, in fact, be worse. Happy Reading!
I read an electronic Advanced Reader Copy of The Adults courtesy of Netgalley but this did not influence my opinion and enjoyment of the novel. I really enjoyed the suspense Hulse built in this one and spent several wonderful hours chuckling to myself and rolling my eyes at her terrible but adorable characters as I devoured this 300+ page book like it was a novella.
- Title: The Adults
- Author: Caroline Hulse
- Genre: Fiction
- Publication Date: November 27, 2018
- Pages: 348
- My Rating: 4 stars