A very big thank you to Tara McEvoy over at Pushkin Press for having me on this tour!
Ida is a forty-year-old architect, single and starting to panic. She’s navigating Tinder and contemplating freezing her eggs, but forces these worries to the back of her mind as she sets off to the family cabin for her mother’s sixty-fifth birthday.
But family ties old and new begin to wear thin, out in the idyllic Norwegian countryside. Ida is fighting with her sister Marthe, flirting with Marthe’s husband and winning the favour of Marthe’s stepdaughter. Some supposedly wonderful news from her sister sets tensions simmering even further, building to an almighty clash between Ida and her sister, her mother, her whole family.
Exhilarating, funny and unexpectedly devastating, Grown Ups asks what kind of adult you are without a family of your own.
A short, nevertheless very thought-provoking book!
Through this honest portrayal of antipathic Ida and her dysfunctional family, you are pulled into this eternal debate of “what does it mean to be a “grown-up”?
Ida is 40, single, and demonstrates quite a few self destructing traits. Life as she believes she should have hasn’t materialised for her, but does she really want it to?
In her eyes, her sister Marthe is the opposite of who Ida aspires to be, but somehow has it all: a boyfriend Kristoffer, a step daughter Olea, and, coming as an unwanted surprise to Ida, a baby on the way. Ida wants nothing more than to overtake her.. or does she really?
Their mother has settled with her long term boyfriend Stein, having had to suffer through the girls father deserting them when they were young. She sparks up the siblings rivalry but is it on purpose or is she simply oblivious?
In this very clever book, wonderfully translated by Rosie Hedger, Marie Aubert takes no kid gloves to show that as much as we’re sometimes pretending, in the end aren’t we just still kids playing grown ups?
Tantrums, jealousy, lies, selfishness, deceptions, cries for attention, as much as Ida and Marthe try to pretend to have it all figured out and together, they’re bickering and behaving like 6 year old, experiencing the same feelings they did when they were young.
What shapes our behaviour? Does being a parent, owning a cabin, driving a boat, really means being a grown up? “You have to let kids be kids”.. but do we ever really stop being kids?
Out now with Pushkin Press
–About the Author – Marie Aubert–
Marie Aubert was born in 1979 and lives in Oslo. She made her debut with the short story collection Can I Come Home with You (2016), which was a huge success in Norway, selling more than 10,000 copies. Her acclaimed first novel Grown-ups (2019) won the Young People’s Critics’ Prize, and was nominated for the Booksellers’ Prize.
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