When I finished All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg,* I had this thought- people are either going to absolutely love this book, like super devotion to it, cult classic type love of this book OR people will absolutely hate this book and simply not get it. I think it might be that dividing line for readers of the book. Now stating that, I can say that I liked it, but a strong part of me didn't "get it." I got a strong "HBO Girls" type vibe off of this book and I don't get that show either, so I use that as a reference point.
The book is about Andrea, who is 39 and just about to turn 40. She is in a place in her life where she is comfortable where she is as a single woman living in NY. She has dad issues as she sleeps with many men trying to fill the space where her dad should be (her thoughts, not my analysis), often times not really into the sex or into the man she is with.
She struggles with abandonment from her mother who moved away, but seems to be having a fine life outside of NYC. Her mother is also demanding of Andrea as when she will have a baby and "grow up?"
Andrea though is in a place where she is content, but also wonders if she should be someone else at this point in her life. This is a sort of coming of age book as Andrea prepares to enter midlife. Is she fine with her life choices or is she just settling?
I turned 40 a few years ago and when I did, I had a career and have had it for 19 years at that point. I had a wife (still do) and had been married for a long time. I was not needy for my parents (even though I love them dearly). What I am saying is when I hit 40, I was in a place in my life where I wasn't seeking any longer, I knew who I was and was content with my life. So, I couldn't connect with Andrea's journey. Then again, I couldn't connect with a lot of people my age who I knew were still seeking who they were at 40.
The writing was great as Attenberg is a fantastic writer. The use of the first person narrative was an interesting choice I thought, especially in the opening where it is a pointed use of "you" before it slips into the "I" following.
I thought this was a fine book and I think a lot of people will connect with Andrea. It just didn't hit with me, but there was a lot in this tiny book. I gave this one 3.5 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
*I want to thank NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. I received it in exchange for an honest review.