The Grown Ups
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 he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s 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 Sam’s 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 Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s 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.
Praise For The Grown Ups: A Novel…
— Library Journal
“THE GROWN UPS is a highly relatable, fiercely readable, and deeply satisfying tale about the families we don’t 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
“Fans of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings and Joanna Hershon’s 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...Antalek’s unflinching but merciful lens illuminates a tender beauty in life’s 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
“In this vast, funny, and often profound novel, Antalek has given us more than just a good read -- she’s 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...You’ll hang on to this book like a photo album that you’ll 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
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062302472, 384pp.
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
About the Author
Robin Antalek is the author of The Summer We Fell Apart. She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.