Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

I had not read a book by Marian Keyes for quite a few years, so thought I’d try Grown Ups as I had seen a lot of good publicity about it. This is the story of three brothers, Johnny, Ed and Liam, and their families and friends. We are thrown right in at the deep end with a huge argument at Johnny’s fiftieth birthday party. Cara (Ed’s wife) has concussion which has loosened her tongue, and her revelations tear everyone apart.

At this point we have no idea who all these people are, and it is very confusing. The story now jumps back in time, and we are gradually able to make sense of it all. As a plot device it is unsubtle, and it distracted me from the story. I eventually decided to just read the first chapters again.

It’s not so easy to judge when reading on a kindle, but this book seemed much longer than average; I think it would have benefitted from a good edit. There were an awful lot of characters introduced in a short space of time. This made it quite difficult to tell who was who, and meant that they were not as well developed as they could have been.

Grown Ups is well written, but there is not much in the way of plot. The action mostly takes place at a series of extravagant family gatherings hosted by Johnny and Jessie. Marian Keyes explores some fairly serious subjects – bulimia, refugees, money, online retail, age difference in relationships – but none is gone into in enough depth. I did enjoy Grown Ups, but it could have been so much better.  

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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