I’m a massive fan of author Marian Keyes and I’ve been reading her books for years. So, you can be sure that I snapped up her latest book Grown Ups as soon as it was released. It’s a seriously chunky read at over 600 pages long. But I found it easy to get through.
Set in Ireland, Grown Ups tells the story of three women: Jessie, Cara and Nell. They are married to the three Casey brothers (Johnny, Ed and Liam). The Casey family likes getting together regularly to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and to go on holidays. They appear to be one big happy family. But like all marriages, and all families, there are plenty of problems, secrets and tensions lurking beneath the surface. And this tension is about to explode at Johnny’s birthday party.
With many kids between them all and some of the adults on their second marriages, it’s a big mix of characters to keep track of. I had to consult the family tree at the start of this book a lot when I first started reading Grown Ups. Thankfully, I soon sorted out who was who. Marian Keyes does an admirable job of weaving together a story involving such a large cast. The story is told mostly from the point-of-views of Jessie, Cara and Nell, but sometimes their husbands as well. Everyone has things they are trying to hide or deal with.
Like all Marian Keyes books, it has a large dose of Irish humour running through it – but not as much as previous books. I wished there had been more cheeriness. Grown Ups tackles some hefty themes such as bulimia, marriage issues, infidelity, grief and more. There were some characters I hated and others that I was cheering on.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Grown Ups. But compared to some of Marian’s other novels, this one wasn’t my favourite. If you are trying Marian Keyes for the first time, I’d recommend starting with some of her earlier novels first like Watermelon, Sushi for Beginners, Rachel’s Holiday, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Last Chance Saloon.
Verdict: A delightful contemporary read about family, love, marriage and everything in between.