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Adult Onset (2014)

av Ann-Marie MacDonald

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2241993,131 (3.29)12
"Mary Rose MacKinnon is a successful author of YA fiction doing a tour of duty as stay-at-home mom while her partner, Hilary, takes a turn focusing on her career. She tries valiantly to balance the (mostly) solo parenting of two young children with the relentless needs of her aging parents. But amid the hilarities of full-on domesticity arises a sense of dread. Do others notice the dents in the expensive refrigerator? How long will it take Mary Rose to realize that the car alarm that has been going off all morning is hers, and how on earth did her sharpest pair of scissors wind up in her toddler's hands? As frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms of a childhood illness that compel her to rethink her own upbringing and family history. Over the course of one outwardly ordinary week, Mary Rose's world threatens to unravel, and the specter of violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her and her children. With humor and unerring emotional accuracy, Adult Onset explores the pleasures and pressures of family bonds, powerful and yet so easily twisted and broken. Ann-Marie MacDonald has crafted a searing, terrifying, yet ultimately uplifting story. "--… (mer)
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» Se även 12 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 19 (nästa | visa alla)
It's not that I'm insensitive to the topic, or the author's own struggle with abuse. My problem with Ann-Marie MacDonald's novel has everything to do with writer's craft.

And that's where art is very much subjective. So, there are likely many readers who will find my review irrelevant, perhaps even a point of anger, and that's fine. This is, after all, my review, and my reaction, for which I take full responsibility.

For myself, I found the development and presentation of the character of Mary Rose MacKinnon to be one which lacks pathos. For the most part she comes across as self-indulgent, incapable of rising above herself and her legitimately difficult past, to offer nurture and guidance to her own children. There is a great deal of whining. There is a great deal of resentment. And the character of Mary Rose comes perilously close to continuing the cycle of abuse.

And while that may have been the point of what MacDonald created in this novel, it also doesn't resonate particularly well, because if we wish to shed light on the difficulty of child abuse, we also have to find a way to allow readers some form of identification, something to hang on to in order to travel though the character's story and stay with them, even cheer them on. But there is none of that.

That aside, the writing itself was competent. But it wasn't arresting. Not in the way we might find Atwood or Crummey, Boyden or Ondaatje. There were no moments of breathtaking prose. But, then, I'm known to be hard to please, and plainly MacDonald didn't.

Should you read Adult Onset? Sure you should. Why? Because you may very well take away from it something I failed to. It's worth reading. Just not for me. ( )
  fiverivers | Apr 2, 2021 |
I kept changing my mind about this book. At first I couldn't stand the endless detail and whining about her child rearing but then I started to enjoy the parts where it was her mother's life and reminiscences from her childhood. I think if the entire book consisted of scenes from her childhood it would have been better. However, the never ending harangue of who dangled her from the railing and her childhood injuries were too much. I felt sorry for her and wanted to know the full story but even though I finished the book I'm not sure what the full story is. The last straw was that detail of her reading medical textbooks, I couldn't even decipher what that was about. A rare misstep from Ann-Marie MacDonald. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
The structure of this novel was so scattershot and ill-conceived that it really took away from what could have been a lovely story a woman struggling to parent her children while her spouse is absent. Admittedly, novels that are based really closely on the author's life tend to rankle me, this one did especially. It was almost TOO specific, without the proper explanations to back it up.

Also, as another reader commented, it seemed to be a 400 page ad for Toronto. Highlighting Tim Horton's especially really got to me. I don't need to know about all the different Tim Horton's products. I've been to one. Saying that you were laying in bed eating Timbits is so much less effective than saying you were laying in bed eating donut holes because it feels like product placement. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
It is so refreshing to read a REALLY WELL WRITTEN book. Almost nothing about this story connects with me -- not the relationships, the motherhood, the parental issues, the obscured past or the troubled childhood. However, because this story was so well crafted, because the writing was stellar, I was drawn in and pulled along on its journey.

Ann-Marie MacDonald's other two novels contain some difficult-to-read content. The content in this book is not lighter, but I did have an easier time reading it -- the book story is also much shorter. It is totally different but still brilliant. This is what I think of when I think of Canadian Literature: an unapologetic identity living life without tidy conclusions.

( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 3, 2017 |
Mary Rose (MR - called Mister by her friends) is a stay-at-home author, watching her two young children while her wife is away directing a play. This novel (somewhat autobiographical) follows MR during the week that she is alone at home with her two children. MR carries around a lot of baggage. She has a complicated relationship with her mother - stemming from her mum's multiple pregnancy losses and the depression that followed. MR herself suffers from chronic pain in her arm - again related to possible abuse she suffered as a child.

I could not warm to this character - she lives in her head and is constantly second guessing every thought, every action. Really, I found her to be about ten kinds of crazy and exhausting to be around.

Ann-Marie MacDonald is one of my favourite authors. 'Fall on Your Knees' was brilliant and the second novel, 'The Way the Crow Flies' was even better for me. I love her writing style and her complex back stories. 'Adult Onset', however, is definitely my third favourite of her three books. ( )
  EvelynBernard | Sep 12, 2017 |
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"Mary Rose MacKinnon is a successful author of YA fiction doing a tour of duty as stay-at-home mom while her partner, Hilary, takes a turn focusing on her career. She tries valiantly to balance the (mostly) solo parenting of two young children with the relentless needs of her aging parents. But amid the hilarities of full-on domesticity arises a sense of dread. Do others notice the dents in the expensive refrigerator? How long will it take Mary Rose to realize that the car alarm that has been going off all morning is hers, and how on earth did her sharpest pair of scissors wind up in her toddler's hands? As frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms of a childhood illness that compel her to rethink her own upbringing and family history. Over the course of one outwardly ordinary week, Mary Rose's world threatens to unravel, and the specter of violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her and her children. With humor and unerring emotional accuracy, Adult Onset explores the pleasures and pressures of family bonds, powerful and yet so easily twisted and broken. Ann-Marie MacDonald has crafted a searing, terrifying, yet ultimately uplifting story. "--

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