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The ‘Adults’ by Caroline Hulse

The adults: a house with a chimney; a lit fuse is attached to the chimneyA review by Nalini Haynes

The ‘Adults’ is a romantic dark comedy about couples who are trying to be adults after a parenting couple (Claire and Matt) separated and found other partners. This idea is all well and good, but the incompetent Matt whose idea of dealing with unpleasant mail (like bills) is to ‘lose’ it somewhere in the house, this ‘adult’, decides both couples should spend a whole week at a family resort for Christmas.

Claire and her new partner, Patrick, are barristers, while Matt’s new partner Alex is a scientist and I forget what Matt is other than the kind of man I’d run from even if he was just a friend!!! The reason I mention this is that you’d expect intelligent adults with responsible careers to behave better than this — or perhaps not. Perhaps that’s the whole point of this satire.

I’m a sucker for Christmas disaster stories like John Grisham’s Christmas with the Kranks. The ‘Adults’ fits loosely in that category but with relationship issues and a disaster pending throughout, while post-disaster police interviews are interwoven with the story leading up to the disaster, riveting me to my seat, breathless with anticipation. The big reveal does not disappoint!

Rating: Highly recommended, 4 out of 5 stars
Publisher: Orion in Australia and Random Penguins elsewhere


Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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