Andrea reviews THE ADULTS by Caroline Hulse, Random House, 2018.
This debut novel by Manchester native, Caroline Hulse, is full of twists and turns and intriguing characters. Even Matt and Claire are no longer married, they do believe that their daughter, Scarlett, deserves a “normal” holiday with both her parents. Whatever normal means nowadays Planning a trip to Happy Forest, a place in the country with plenty of amusement for all ages, the parents invite their respective partners, Alex and Patrick. You know throwing your current girl/boyfriend into the mix screams normalcy and fun times, right? While we’re at it, Scarlett might as well invite Posey, her imaginary friend, a four-foot tall purple stuffed rabbit.
With initial confusion to who really organized the trip, (was it Matt or was it Claire?) the couples want to have a good Christmas holiday. (Who invited their current partners anyway?) It’s all for Scarlett’s sake, right? With all the chaos swirling around and between the four adults, they seemed to forget why they even went on this awful trip. Nothing can prepare the adults for having to make a frightening emergency call on Christmas day when one of them is critically injured. Who caused the incident and what will be the end result?
With jealousy, anger, and spite on the front burners, the four adults, Matt, and Alex with Claire and Patrick struggle to have a normal holiday trip even though the one they want to please the most seems to be the one most left out.
Hulse’s novel is a work of fiction even though we all will relate to the emotions each character feels. Be prepared for somersaults and cartwheels of emotions for the characters and the story.