The Adults

The Adults

by Caroline Hulse


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The Adults 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
marykuhl More than 1 year ago
The bulk of this story is set over a 5 day period. The concept, ex-wife/ex-husband on a Christmas vacation getaway with their daughter and respective new boyfriend/girlfriend. The relationship of the child's parents is great. They get along, they joke with each other they don't fight. They are content to be apart from each other and in their new roles as "exes". I liked the way this book was split up into each day of the vacation, and I also like how the transcripts from the police interviews were placed. The transcripts told you what was going on, without revealing too much of the story. I actually didn't know who the "victim" was until pretty close to the end of the book. I really enjoyed this book.
Bookaholic_Cindy More than 1 year ago
This sounded like a fun Christmas story where a divorced couple decide to have Christmas vacation together for their daughter. And bring their new partners with them. A weekend where the four of them will make it great fun for their daughter, Scarlett. Well, things didn't quite turn out so magical and perfect! There were some funny moments but it didn't entertain me like I expected. Don't get me wrong, it was good and a light read at the holidays. I didn't really connect with any of the characters except maybe Scarlett's imaginary rabbit! He had some of the best lines to make me laugh. * I was provided an ARC to read from the publisher and NetGalley. It was my decision to read and review this book.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
2.5 Stars This is touted as being a humourous book, sorry but I found little humour between these pages - maybe it slipped past me but I really couldn't find it. There were scenes which made you squirm uncomfortably in your seat, I wonder if these were supposed to be where the humour lay? I did enjoy the plot of the tale though - the idea behind a divorced couple spending Christmas together with their respective partners all for the sake of their young daughter was a good one. Unfortunately the author ruined it slightly by having them share a cabin in the holiday village they go to (any resemblance to a popular chain starting with Centre and ending in Parcs is entirely coincidental *coughs*). This stretched the bounds of believability uncomfortably for me. The main characters we see things from are the two women concerned - Claire and Alex with a goodly dollop of Patrick thrown in, Matt is pretty much an occasional character unless Alex is thinking about him. Unfortunately their voices aren't sufficiently different to really tell them apart on the page so it all becomes a bit of a mish mash on the page. The denouement is flagged early on with the insertion of transcripts of police interviews following "the incident". The only thing we don't really know is what happened in the field and when we do find out the story they concoct for the police is laughable and does not hold water at all. It definitely wouldn't wash in the real world but as this is a work of fiction they seemingly get away with it. The writing has a good pace to it and the author does seem to have a pretty good grasp of relationships and how people work on an internal level. Fortunately this was enough to keep me reading even though the story itself was not actually that good.
DanaLynne More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the first mistake was in marketing this as a comedy because in that regard it definitely falls short of the mark, and once I realized I wasn't going to be amused, it was hard for me to get into this book. 4 adults (two of them ex-es) and the daughter they share travel to a holiday get-away to spend Christmas together. Nevermind the fact that none of the characters are terribly likable, the situation just isn't funny. I felt like an unwanted onlooker thrown into the most uncomfortable domestic dispute ever. Unfortunately, I think the mismarketing led me to have more negative feelings about this book than it probably warrants. The shifting prose is a nice technique that propels the story forward without getting bogged down in the narrative. Posey the imaginary bunny is sweet and clever, even if misguided on the job details of scientists, and may be my favorite character of the novel. The characters are well written, if predictably flawed and relatable even when they are unlikable. I suspect many will find more enjoyment of this book than I did. I went looking for a light holiday read, and that isn't what I found.
LawladyCase More than 1 year ago
Matt finally tells his girlfriend, Alex, that there is a plan for the two of them, his daughter, Scarlett, and his ex-wife and her boyfriend to spend the Christmas holiday together. Alex discovers that the arrangements were made some time ago and she cannot refuse to go or she will look like the bad guy. Claire, her boyfriend, Patrick and Scarlett seem pleased to be spending the holiday together with Alex and Matt. Everyone decides to be adult about the whole thing for Scarlett’s sake. This is the first Christmas in a number of years that she will be with both of her parents. Scarlett and her imaginary friend, Posey, have already decided that they do not like Alex. A series of complications ensue that would be spoilers to outline here. Suffice to say that by the end of the weekend the only person acting close to adult is Scarlett. The dialogue is often comical but sometimes sad. The characters are rich and well developed. Each has serious flaws but their assets are so well written that in the end you will love them all. Details are so vivid that you can actually see the sign at Happy Forrest holiday park, Patrick’s too short shorts and other descriptions. I absolutely loved this book. I cannot say enough about it. Caroline Hulse is now on my list of favorite authors. I received an eBook ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion or ratings of this book.
3no7 More than 1 year ago
“The Adults” by Caroline Hulse centers around a Christmas vacation that no one will ever forget. A joyful sign welcomed guests to “The Happy Forest Holiday Park! Where relaxation is a force of nature.” The plan was for a nice quiet holiday vacation with extended family, all reasonable adults. What could possibly go wrong? Readers find out quickly that a lot can go wrong when the novel opens with the transcript of a call to emergency services. Operator: “Emergency, which service? Woman: We need an ambulance at the Happy Forest Holiday Park… We need an ambulance. He’s been shot. It was an accident.” This is not just any ordinary Christmas vacation; it is a holiday with one young child Scarlett Cutler, her now divorced parents Matt Cutler and Claire Petersen, their new partners Patrick Asher and Alex Mount, and Scarlett’s imaginary friend, Posey, the rabbit. Why would this group ever think they could spend a holiday together without tension and trauma? From very beginning, anticipation and dread hangs on every page. The chapters are written from alternating points of view to guide readers through events and to help shed light on how all these sensible adults got to that prologue. They all wanted Scarlett to have a memorable Christmas vacation, and in that, they certainly were successful. Their relationships with each other were certainly memorable as well, but those times were filled with insecurity, lies, and manipulation rather than holiday cheer. Fundamental inconsistencies, prevailing insecurities, mounting tension, and underlying conflict indicate the thunderstorm of events that are on the way. Even when there seems to be some semblance of civility among these adults, readers are reminded of the “incident” by chapters with transcripts of interviews by park employees and other quests who observed the growing strain and the aftermath of the “event.” “The Adults” works because of the diverse and realistic characters; readers get to know them very well. They are all likeable, familiar, and sympathetic despite their disturbed routines and unnecessary drama. In fact, every reader knows of someone like these people among their own families and acquaintances. However, behind all that familiar normal behavior, readers know there is still the shooting. Readers frantically turn pages because although “the event” has occurred, the details and specific participants are only disclosed a little piece at a time throughout the narrative. “The Adults” is compelling and entertaining book. I finished it shaking my head and asking, “How could people think this would be an appropriate vacation?” I of course knew the answer because I knew all these characters. I received a copy of “The Adults” from Caroline Hulse, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley. This is certainly not a run-of-the-mill “Christmas Book,” and I found it a painfully wonderful book. It reminds me that my own holiday vacations are not as bad as I thought.
LlamaJen More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!! I never knew what was going to happen next. What could go wrong when exes decide to spend Christmas together with their seven year old daughter, their partners and an imaginary purple rabbit at the Happy Forest Holiday Park??? The answer to that is lots and lots and lots could go wrong!!! There's burlesque dancing for a seven year old, a pheasant who happens to be in the wrong place, staking of old high school classmates, and large amounts of alcohol consumed, just to name a few. What's a fun Christmas holiday without someone getting shot and ending up in the hospital? Scarlett had very little supervision in the lodge, even with four adults always around her. She was a very resourceful seven year old with the googling of Harvey and Watership Down. Her reaction to Posey after watching the bunny movie was heart breaking and funny at the same time, especially after she made Posey leave her bedroom. I loved the story, characters and writing style. The holiday just seemed doomed from the start. Who wants to go on a holiday with people you don't know and stay in a lodge with them for five days? What's worse two of them were previously married and one is a large purple bunny who hates scientists. I felt bad for Alex, although she did choose to be with Matt. What grown man hides mail throughout the house because he doesn't want to read it. Definitely recommend the book and I look forward to reading more by the author. It's a perfect book for the holidays, especially if you feel the need to spend it with you ex and current partner!! Just don't go to any type of shooting range!!! Thanks to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Random House and the author, Caroline Hulse, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the characters, especially Scarlet. I have a couple of step grandchildren whom I love dearly and can certainly relate to this story.
GGGeiss More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this quirky read. I liked the characters, especially 7 year old Scarlett and her imaginary friend Posey (a rabbit). The unlikely scenerio, a blended family spending a 5 day holiday together, is a bit unorthodox for most families, I would venture to say......having said that, all the “so called”, ‘we are all adults and can handle this’ proves differently. All their insecurities are exposed, which makes them very “human” and how they work through everything, is very “adult” in the end. This book is amusing and sometimes uncomfortable when they all let “their hair down,” but that’s what makes it interesting and so much fun to read. Thank you Netgalley and the author, Caroline Hulse and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Matt has moved in with Alex, a laboratory scientist. Matt is divorced from Claire who is a solicitor and is living with Patrick, a barrister. Matt and Claire have a daughter, Scarlett, age 7, who has an imaginary rabbit friend named Posey. Matt and Claire decide for all five of them to spend Christmas at the Happy Forest holiday park where the Christmas festivities are great. While Alex thinks it’s a stupid idea, she agrees to go along with it. Patrick is an exercise freak preparing for an Ironman contest some months down the road. Matt is a laid-back kind of guy who can get on one’s nerves. Alex has had some drinking problems in the past but is doing better. Claire is the take-charge “adult” in the group. When Scarlett sees a man talking about scientists doing painful experiments on rabbits, she becomes concerned. She knows that Alex is a scientist and decides she must closely watch Alex while they are on the Christmas holiday so nothing happens to Posey. As the holiday commences, things get tense as everyone tries to be pleasant to one another and get along. But tension builds and relationships are questioned. But when things start to boil over, someone is shot. Who was shot and why? Who did it and why? There is a lot of dark humor in this story along with a bit of boredom. Everyone has come together to make a special Christmas for Scarlett who seems to take it all in her stride. She doesn’t really show enough excitement to make it worth four adults bending over backward to spend Christmas at a family holiday park for Heaven’s sake! At times Scarlett does seem to be 7 going on 45. An interesting tale and I’m sure that especially parents sharing custody of children will get some laughs from it. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
SL22268 More than 1 year ago
Just ok for me. Thank you to Random House, NetGalley, and the author for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book gives voices to each of the characters all while you try to decide "whodunit" while reading. Claire and Matt are the parents of Scarlett; Claire and Matt both have moved on and have new significant others. The wild and crazy idea of spending Christmas together - yes all 5 of them - at a holiday park is the central theme of this story. Add in the awkwardness and personal issues, and you have a recipe for disaster! This book was just ok to me. I wanted to like it more, but I still feel that it is 3 star worthy.
bookluvr35SL More than 1 year ago
This book starts with someone being shot with an arrow at The Happy Forest. Then the story goes back to the beginning to tell about Matt & Claire wanting to take their daughter Scarlett to spend Christmas at The Happy Forest, along with Matt's girlfriend and Claire's boyfriend. As you can well imagine, all those dynamics in one cabin for days during one of the most stressful times of the year is a recipe for disaster. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The drama between both of the couples was funny and written so well you could almost see it happening in front of you. The book kept you guessing until the end about who shot whom. I highly recommend this book!
Indydriven More than 1 year ago
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Claire and Matt are divorced and they have a young daughter, Scarlett. Matt is now partners with Alex and Claire is with Patrick but it has been suggested that for the benefit of Scarlett, they should all spend Christmas together at a cabin. While Matt springs this news to Alex as a “done deal” at the last minute I have to say that she takes the news much better than I would have. The book opens with a promotional brochure from Happy Forest Holiday Park, the site where the cabin has been rented for Christmas. Next is a transcript of a 999-call reporting that someone has been shot by an archery bow. At this point, we are not totally sure who has been shot or who the shooter is. The story then starts its backward rewinding so we see all the events leading up to the shooting. I will give this book credit for an unusual storyline but I was looking forward to reading this as a Christmas book but it just didn’t feel Christmassy. If you are looking for a book that puts you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t feel you will find it here but if you are looking for a book where the characters are heading for a train derailment and you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride, then it might be the book for you. I have to say that my favorite character in the book is Scarlett’s imaginary friend, Posey who is a about a 4’ rabbit that talks to her. He can be very sarcastic and funny (although mean sometimes too).
Holly More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book that was so funny but yet so sad at the same time, it truly is a book that is a must read before any family gathering!! You have this ex-couple who want to bring their new partners along with their 7 year old for a holiday trip, what could go wrong!! Also the 7 year old Scarlett has this imaginary friend that seems too real but also seems to influence Scarlett in the worst possible way ever. I don't want to give too much away but let's say just be prepared to be laughing your butt off while cringing at the things that everyone does that ends with someone getting hurt in an accident. Plus, the way that this book is written out that goes before the accident to after; just makes this book even better than before. It's done in a way that you can follow along and won't get confused at what is happening during certain points! If anything, this is the perfect read for anyone looking for something light-hearted that will make you want to stay up way later than you plan on just to see how everything plays out!! Thank You to Caroline Hulse for this awesome read that made me become a fan of yours from now on!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher!