Synopses & Reviews
From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart,
an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together.
The summer hes fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesnt entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sams world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzies parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sams father alone to raise two sons.
Watching as her parents marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sams older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella—and force her to confront her past and her friends.
After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sams inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bellas old friend Suzie—and Sams older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.
Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.
“Fans of Meg Wolitzers The Interestings and Joanna Hershons A Dual Inheritance will love this thoughtful exploration of the warp and weft of our closest relationships.” Amy Shearn, author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far Is The Ocean from Here
“A celebration of resiliency and the bonds of friendship...Antaleks unflinching but merciful lens illuminates a tender beauty in lifes ups and downs, in the compassion born of heartache and failure, and in the gratitude owed to those who provide companionship and shelter along the way.” Susan Henderson, author of Up from the Blue
“THE GROWN UPS is a highly relatable, fiercely readable, and deeply satisfying tale about the families we dont choose, the history that binds us, and the evolving relationships that shape our lives. Antalek writes with a clear eye, a deft touch, and a big heart.” Jonathan Evison, author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
“In this vast, funny, and often profound novel, Antalek has given us more than just a good read -- shes painted a portrait of how youth evolves into age, and the loss and victory that comes with inevitable, hard-fought adulthood.” Susanna Daniel, author of Sea Creatures and Stiltsville
“One of those rare books that pulls you deeper into your own life and your own memories...Youll hang on to this book like a photo album that youll want to flip through again and again, if only to feel the poignant ache of nostalgia.” Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Wonder Bread Summer
“Like Meg Wolitzers The Interestings, Antaleks second novel is an engaging ensemble piece with revealing insights about friendships. A great choice for book clubs looking for new adult titles.” Library Journal
Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds of friends and family and the connections that form between Sam, Suzie, and Bella as they navigate parents, siblings, and one another on the way to becoming who they really want to be when they grow up.
About the Author
Robin Antalek's work has been published in numerous literary journals. She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with her husband and two daughters. The Summer We Fell Apart is her first novel.