First finished book of 2018. MC Andrea is a morosely cynical modern day woman reflecting on the ways in which she has failed other people and herself. She numbs herself with meaningless relationships, flirts with making drastic changes in her life, and struggles to emotionally navigate the dysfunctional terrain of her wrecked childhood and that of her loved ones. It wasn’t a complete sob fest but almost. I’m glad it’s done. 2/5 ⭐
PICK UP THIS BOOK IF: you’re in a melancholy mood and want to whine a bit
AVOID THIS BOOK IF: you’re a generally upbeat person who has no patience for other peoples’ petty bullshit
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.
Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid—she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother—who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood—and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart?
Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms.