Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did—and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance Ironman in Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much after Scarlett’s bedtime, overshare classified secrets about their pasts . . . and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins—with a tearful, frightened call to the police.
What happened? They said they’d all be adults about this. . . .
My Thoughts: From the very beginning of The Adults, I had one of those “uh-oh” feelings. Nothing about this plan of theirs could be a good idea. Right? Vacationing with exes and new partners during the Christmas holidays sounded like the death knell for at least one or two of those relationships. A long five-day “weekend” could be disastrous.
Add in the somewhat bratty child Scarlett with her Imaginary Rabbit friend…and you are in for some tension, at the very least.
Matt was the first one I couldn’t stand. He was an annoyingly vague kind of person, unsure of what to tell his partner Alex about anything, not wanting to deal with the complications that might arise. He knew she wouldn’t want to go on the trip, so he didn’t tell her until the plans were all set.
Claire, Matt’s ex, seemed to have way too much control over everything. Others might feel slighted, or even ignored. And everything seemed to center around keeping their daughter Scarlett pleased about anything and everything.
Then there was Patrick, Claire’s new partner, whose jealousy reaches extremes before the weekend is done. What eventually happened took a while to sort out, and part of the narrative focused on a police investigation. What could have gone wrong indeed?
This interesting story with unlikable characters earned 4.5 stars.