From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection. Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she's a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it's what she leaves unsaid-she's alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh-that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother-who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood-and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea's niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg's power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman's life, lived entirely on her own terms.
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"New Yorker Andrea Bern seems intent on absolving herself of responsibility for her own life and turning a blind eye to the misfortunes of others. Narrator Mia Barron gives her a wry and knowing voice that breaks at key moments ever so briefly into a revealing whine or falseness. Emphasizing just the right phrases from other characters and perfectly exploiting the most telling responses from Andrea, Barron capitalizes on every scene in the novel, most of which confirm that Andrea is no more tragic than anyone around her. Barron's technique creates space enough for listeners to question whether Andrea perceives life as clearly as she thinks she does. Those looking for a redemptive tale won't find it here, but they will find a narrator who can lay a character's faults bare. K.W. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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