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The adults : a novel
Alison Espach
Adult Fiction ESPACH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Espach's charming coming-of-age debut, 14-year-old Emily Vidal's life begins to veer off course at her father's 50th birthday party when he announces that he and her mother are divorcing. The birthday night ends with dad kissing the neighbor, Mrs. Resnick, in the woods, where Emily and Mrs. Resnick's son, Mark, discover them. The disorienting discoveries continue: Mark's ailing father commits suicide, and Mrs. Resnick is pregnant with Emily's dad's baby. With dad off to Prague and her mother undone by the affair and hitting the bottle, Emily loses faith in all the adults around her, even as she is becoming one of them. Emily starts an affair with an English teacher 10 years her senior, mostly to see how far she can go, which turns out to be pretty far. She and the teacher, Jonathan, who leaves teaching to become a lawyer, return to each other again and again as Emily graduates from college and moves to Prague to be with her father. Espach perfects the snarky, postironic deadpan of the 1990s and teenagers everywhere, and her ear for modern speech and eye for fresh detail transform a familiar story into an education in what it means to be a grown-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The teens in this novel mimic the worst behavior of the grownups, who pretty much ignore their children. Emily Vidal is a young teen trying to blend in with the mean girls in her suburban Connecticut town in the mid-1990s. In this high school hell, the kids act out, the teachers are ineffectual (one has sex with a 15-year-old girl), and there's parental infidelity and divorce at home. The novel's second half follows twentysomething Emily to New York and Prague. Although there's enough drama, there is too much inane dialog and not enough character development. Incidents such as a death or a suicide feel not so much integral to the plot as just something else for Emily to react to in her emotionally distant way. Verdict Espach tries so hard to be edgy and ironic in this debut novel that it becomes more tedious than gripping. Not recommended.-Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Emily Vidal
Age: 15

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