When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?
... bigly entertaining ... 'Literary sunshine' is a good way to think of Straub’s work. Her writing and tone are consistently bright and straightforward; her approach to character is warm and generous. Although essentially comic, Straub’s novels don’t avoid some of life’s harsh challenges. All Adults Here touches on fraught topics like coming out, gender identity, marital infidelity, abortion and predatory behavior, all while maintaining a feel-good mood that suggests most things will work out in the end ... Rather than constructing a tightly woven plot, Straub assembles a multigenerational cast of complex characters in an appealing setting, and stands back ... Part of the considerable pleasure of reading the novel comes from witnessing inner desires — or demons — gradually revealed, and then resolved ... The main pleasures of All Adults Here come from Straub’s wry comic instincts and her gimlet eye for cultural observation ... Her wit extends out from the individual characters into a larger commentary on the difficulties of becoming an adult, making this an especially rich addition to the author’s body of work ... If Straub resolves a few too many potential crises with cinematic ease, most readers will forgive her. Who among us isn’t in need of a happy ending right now? What could be more welcome than a novel that leaves you feeling optimistic about both the world and the muddle of your own life? Please, bring on the sunshine.
... delightful ... The family homestead is called the Big House—but what happens inside is so entertaining, the Stricks might as well be gathered under the Big Top ... Straub deftly weaves the various characters’ stories into a slice-of-life plot that builds slowly. The book is wide-ranging, squeezing in commentary on abortion, gender identity, bullying, sexual predators and more. It’s hip and of-the-moment, down to the lingo ... ripe with the kind of juicy gossip perfect for swapping with a favorite sibling via late-night, hushed phone calls. The Strick family is appealing in part because its members are recognizable: Astrid makes a convincing detached mother, and the other family members are familiar in their idiosyncrasies and grudges. Their problems could be – and probably have been—our problems ... deliciously funny and infectiously warm—a clever blend of levity and poignant insights. Straub’s flair for irony and wit shine, and she puts a fresh (and progressive) spin on the age-old multigenerational family saga ... an ideal read for anyone trapped at home with their family while self-isolating. Read it while hiding in your bedroom from the people who are driving you crazy, but who you’d go crazy without.
... delightful ... With a light touch, [Straub] highlights the impossibility of viewing yourself the way your family sees you and how that myopia leads to misunderstandings that can shape a dynamic for decades ... Straub handles her intergenerational cast of characters with humor and insight ... The ordinary lives Straub depicts here seem surprisingly poignant at this particular point in time: You can’t help but feel wistful at such blessed normality. Worrying about love affairs and family squabbles is a luxury compared with fretting about the toilet paper supply chain ... Still, this novel rings true, the wisdom that its characters gain well earned.