Well I might be reviewing this now, a week before publication, but I read it back in October 2019! I’ve used my October TBR image here as I had it to hand – who knows, maybe the TBR is smaller by now!! [edited to add HA in my DREAMS]

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for providing this book in return for an honest review.

Marian Keyes – “Grown Ups”

(20 September 2019)

A long novel in which you need to get to grips with a huge cast of characters as you encounter the busy, attractive Casey family, revolving around the three brothers, Johnny, Ed and Liam, each with their wife and children, plus extra cousins and friends. and a family tree would have come in handy.

Gradually it unwinds to reveal Johnny is second husband to Jessie and they have a blended family, a business, and so much money that they literally pay for the rest of the family to go on several holidays and weekend trips a year. This is handy for the plot but doesn’t seem believable. Ed and Cara are dealing with Cara’s eating disorder, badly, but it’s Cara’s sudden truthfulness after a bang on the head that opens the novel and which we go back and wind up to through the rest of the novel. Feckless Liam and his kind wife Nell are quite newly married, she is his second wife and does she have more in common with the younger members of the family?

So we follow these people through six months of complicated trips and holidays and messaging and learn what who knows about whom, although it’s so long and the characters are well drawn but somehow not really people I wanted to invest in. Nell is the most interesting, while Cara’s story is well done and useful to explain to people how eating disorders work but so detailed it might be triggering. There are funny side characters, especially the youngsters, but it overall feels pretty sad, with the gloss coming off relationships, marriages and friendships.

I’m still reading up a storm this month and hoping I can maintain the momentum. My plan this year is to get to the books I acquired up to just before last Christmas by the end of the year. 71 print TBR books plus 11 more Magrsathon challenge books. Think I can do it?