Grown Ups by Marian Keyes: Your Preview Verdict

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes: Your Preview Verdict

Our Preview readers loved the chance to get their hands on a new Marian Keyes before it hit the shelves! This family saga ticked all the boxes! Read on to see some of their highlights:

Marian Keyes has written a block buster of a book, the Casey family is big and they spend a lot of time together, there are a lot of characters in this book but very easy to follow absolutely loved the character Nell so down to earth great book – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

Marian Keyes has written the perfect book to read by the pool or when it’s too hot to go outside. At 600 plus pages it’s lengthy but the story is instantly engaging and time flies past. Set in Ireland, the story is applicable to families everywhere, but the location and speech rhythms make it extra enjoyable. Starting at the end, then going back to reveal what led to that moment, is an effective technique. Keyes’ characters aren’t one dimensional and readers can identify themselves or people they know as the story unfolds. A most enjoyable read. – Penny, VIC, 5 stars

It’s always a treat to get your hands on a Marian Keyes novel and even more so when it carries all the Marian hallmarks. Somehow, her books always deliver a glorious combination of the tried and true – large Irish families and their dynamics, humour laced with pain, a deftly plotted story that skips between light and shade – with timely touches that keep them feeling current and entirely fresh. Grown Up follows true to this much-loved form. Opening at a family dinner, we meet the Casey brothers – Johnny, Liam and Ed – three brothers who have grown up together without quite managing to grow up at all. Their wives, on the other hand, are successful, fully formed women, competent and yet still completely relatable. On the surface, the family is close, but within pages, we are drawn into their shifting and complicated relationships. It seems there are plenty of secrets underpinning the glamourous surface of the Casey family. But even though each of the Caseys are dealing with their own demons – eating disorders, financial problems, emotional abuse – they are delicately handled and artfully represented. This story of forgiveness, life, love, moving on and, yes, growing up is a true Marian classic. – Jane, VIC, 5 stars

Very Readable Book. What you think at first is the perfect Family, soon shows that they are just like everyone else. When Cara gets hurt, her innermost feelings emerge. She’s confused **redacted due to potential spoilers** It’s a very large book, but will keep you enthralled and entertained to the end – Bridget, VIC, 5 stars

Classic Marian Keyes, Grown Ups has a rich array of relatable characters, all flawed in some way but who, for the most part, still make the reader care. Beginning with the premise of family secrets about to be exposed at a dinner party, she cleverly takes us back to the beginning, building the suspense while developing each character along the way. Absolutely loved it – Juanita, NSW, 5 stars

Absolutely loved reading this book. Such wonderful characters who take you on their journey through life. – Marielle, NSW, 5 stars

“Grown Ups” is an excellent family drama. It’s a relatively long book, but I wished it would continue for longer. Keyes has a sharp eye for characterisation. Managing a large and diverse cast is no easy feat, but she manages it flawlessly. You’ll believe in each of these characters, in how they turned into these people, and how they came to have these secrets. Each will rouse emotion in you, whether dislike, sympathy, or simple understanding. When the novel ended, I rather wanted to know what was going to happen next to each of them – Keyes had made them come alive to that extent. The plotting is strong, with the stories of multiple people deftly woven together and around each other. The setting is vivid too; in particular Keyes inserts just enough dialect to let us feel we’re indeed in a very specific country (Ireland), without impeding readability. There was nothing I disliked about this novel. It was really enjoyable. It should be appreciated by readers who like character based novels, particularly those who tend towards dramas rather than specific genres (such as crime). It’s a pretty positive novel, overall, without being unrealistic. It was just a really good read. – Lorraine, ACT, 5 stars

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes is a wonderful read. The things this family go through are things every family goes through at some stage in their lifetimes. It is a very open and honest look into the lives of the people involved. I would recommend this book to everyone. I must say so far this is the best one of Marian Keyes that I have read.  – Jodie, NSW, 5 stars

‘Grown Ups’ was an enjoyable and easy read -just what I needed to escape the stresses of the holiday season. This is an insightful book about personalities, families and the ties that bind and tear apart relationships. On the surface, the characters appear loving, capable and admirable but scratch the surface and insecurities and foibles appear. The reader then begins a journey with stories from the past which help with understanding the reasons for the insecurities. Marian Keyes is very clever with these flashbacks because she manages the ‘reveals’ to keep suspense. I really liked the internal dialogue in the book. It was great to get into the heads of these characters to find out their secrets. It felt authentic to me. – Sandra, ACT, 5 stars

I was a little intimidated when I first picked up Grown Ups by Marian Keyes, the book is massive, I needn’t have worried though as it was great. The book is broken into many sections, each section converting a certain time period. It’s further broken into many small chapters, each focussing on a different family member of the Casey’s. Their stories intertwined, as families do, and you got a real sense of their personality, sympathizing with some, disliking some and really bonding with others. As the story progresses, so do the relationships between the characters, as each comes to terms with changes in the lives. The book is full of delightful Irishness which added a lovely edge to the story and the descriptions of both characters and settings made it easy to picture, adding further enjoyment. I’d have happily kept reading if I hadn’t run out of pages, I enjoyed it that much. – Jodie, WA, 5 stars

Another great book by Marian Keyes. ‘Grown Ups’ is a fantastic story about a family, the characters are well developed and are very believable people, warts and all. The story moves along at a nice pace throughout and keeps the reader engaged. Themes of family dynamics, eating disorders and spouse relationships, this book has it all. – Kylie, QLD, 5 stars

I recently won a copy of Grown ups by Marian Keys thanks to #BRPreview and @PenguinRandomHouse. This book delves into the intricacies of the extended but close family, the Caseys. Everything seems so glamorous on the surface, but like all people emotions and secrets are bubbling under the surface. Past hurts, jealousies and judgements cloud peoples views making them gang up on each other under the guise of trying to offer support. All these secrets are kept in check until Cara gets a little tipsy at a get together gaining a nasty concussion and blurting out things she should never have revealed, tearing a family apart. After this a healing begins, forgiveness can start to heal rifts and hurts,people learn to sort themselves out, new relationships begin and ones barely holding together end. It is a liberating story which is more realistic than some as it deals with truths of families, warts and all not painting a rosy non-existent picture which most families could never live up to. I really enjoyed this novel and found it very easy reading. I strongly recommend this novel. – Janet, NSW, 5 stars

Like any extended family, what’s below the surface of the Caseys’ harmonious façade stays there, papered over, not mentioned. Individual tensions, resentments, attractions, and anxieties may be festering underneath, but they present a united, happy front. But at Johnny’s birthday dinner, the cracks widen, perhaps beyond repair, when Cara’s customary expert diplomacy vanishes in the wake of a bump to the head: Cara speaks her mind, and some uncomfortable secrets are exposed. It’s difficult not to become so immersed in the lives of these people that the pages just fly by. Grown Ups is so very readable! – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

From the very first page the reader is drawn into the story of the Casey brothers, their wives and their families. With so many interweaving story lines and plot twists, as well as dealing with real life issues, Marian Keyes has produced an amazing piece of fiction. I loved the way the story started in the present and then sent to reader back into the past, so that the reader could be fully immersed in the characters lives. From Johnny and Jessie, to Ed and Cara and Liam and Nell, I felt like I knew the characters so well by the end of the book, as if they were real people. The changing landscapes throughout was descriptive enough to make me feel like I was there with all the Casey’s. Absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait for another Marian Keyes novel. – Kirstie, WA, 5 stars

Marian Keyes is one of those deceptive writers. You know the kind, you’re happily reading along, enjoying the story and suddenly realise you’ve been captured. You are now part of the story. This is what happened in Grown Ups. Before I knew it, I was invested in the family. Grown Ups is the story of the three Casey brothers, their wives, girlfriends, children, exes. From the outside they seem universally happy and loving, but it doesn’t take much for the façade to drop, for the messy reality to be exposed. One wife. One bang on the head. One case of concussion. One loosened tongue. I enjoyed reading Grown Ups. Wondering just what secret would be exposed next and how the family would deal with it. It is a little friendly reminder that the bridge between adulthood and youth is a very flimsy one. 5 stars from me. – Daniella, QLD, 5 stars

Grown ups I looked at the size of this book and thought, ‘How could a novel keep my interest that long?’ but I was drawn in and fairly disappointed once it was finished. The intertwining of characters was so cleverly, subtly done that i never felt it was hard work to read. There were many of them, and all uniquely relatable that I never found myself lost. I enjoyed the pace and plots intertwined. I did read in large chunks of holiday time, I think I’d lose track if reading small portions. I got great satisfaction from the journey and conclusions. A great read. – Kel, SA, 5 stars

I took this book on a beach holiday and it was the perfect place to read it. Marian Keyes doesn’t disappoint with her relatable family secrets and stories which are peppered with humour. – Kay, QLD, 5 stars

great holiday read. Couldnt put it down. Another wonderful book – Sally, VIC, 5 stars

It was the great Leo Tolstoy that said ‘All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ This is no truer than with Marian Keyes new novel Grown Ups. Keyes takes our emotions on a roller coaster ride as she weaves us effortlessly throughout the lives of the the Casey family, through its highs and lows and winding us all the way to its heart and soul. If your slightly intimidated by its size you are not alone, but the ease in which you can dip into this book and lose a few hours is a testament to Keyes incredible career. – Peta, QLD, 5 stars

Currently I am walking around the house bereft, trying to comprehend that I am not going to be talking to my friends from the Casey family any longer. I was rationing myself, only allowing one or two chapters a day so that I didn’t finish it too quickly, but with the review due date looming, I greedily finished the final ‘Now’ section in one big greedy gulp. Marian Keys writes her characters so thoroughly and thoughtfully, winding them together in the perfect balance of backstory and current dialogue so that the pace of the novel is never compromised but you feel as though you actually know them. There were times in my sleep deprived mum of two state that I actually thought I had been talking to Nell about her problems with Liam, or heard about Cara’s issues from another friend. I was constantly reminding myself that they aren’t real people. Now that is the true sign of a fabulously written book – but would we expect any less from the amazing Marian Keys? – Angela, VIC, 5 stars

I have always enjoyed reading Marian Keyes’ books and this one did not fail to amaze me. It’s not easy to develop so many characters in one book but Marian did it perfectly. I thoroughly recommend this book. – Jenny, VIC, 5 stars

I love Marian Keyes new book Grown Ups- even though it was over 600 pages I didn’t want it to end! I loved the Casey’s and their families- as complex and complicated as they were. I love how Marian Keyes continues to make the best stories out of some of the most mundane tasks of daily living. And of course the children were memorable both for their personalities and habits. Based in the UK it talks of all of their daily lives, and the secrets within their lives. I loved it and would highly recommend – like me, you won’t want it to end ! – Stacey, NSW, 5 stars

This was my first read of any of Marian Keyes books and I really enjoyed it. The family had so much drama and issues it was great to read and kept me reading till the end. I loved how she wrote about the characters and the way she did the story line . It was easy to follow the characters and match them to each part of their story. I would read again as I really enjoyed reading it and the characters. – Beth, TAS, 5 stars

Wow, what a tremendous read! Marian Keyes serves up a multitude of delicious storylines seasoned with intriguing characters in her latest novel Grown Ups. It’s important not to be fooled by the first part of the book; it’s a tricky labyrinth of characters and their relationships that is difficult to comprehend initially. However, once this hurdle is overcome, a deeply complex narrative unfurls that is filled with amazing details and mini plot lines each more interesting that the last. A big book with big characters who are full of big secrets, that all come exploding to the surface in a glorious crescendo! Thank you Marian Keyes for the pleasure that is your writing, and to Better Reading for the advanced copy. – Sarah, VIC, 5 stars

Grown ups was my first book by the author Marian Keyes. The story of the extended Casey family was at once sweet and bitter sweet. The dynamics between such a close family group who were each others biggest fans and at the same time critics was forever changing. I found it hard not to fall in love with the Casey family. – Deanne, VIC, 5 stars

The Casey Family are a mixed bunch and draw you into their madness before you know it. I am sure you will recognise qualities, good and bad, from every family you’ve known. There’s the bossy one, the kind one, the hard done by one and then all the in-laws and outlaws and everyone in between. And all the secrets! You will change alliances and fall in love with them all. Personally, I really miss them. Well done Marian Keyes, well done! – Maggie, VIC, 5 stars

No longer can I claim to be a Keyes virgin! With interesting character names (I love these things) and genuine quality quirky humour, I am most happy to say I have found my new go to author! True to life characterisation I more importantly real life moments, I was captivated by this delightful quality read. This woman can write! Deadpan commentary: “We shouldn’t be exposed to this. We’re children. It’s inappropriate.” “Doing magic with a GHD.” I loved the simple word usage, which the less is more theme works with pizazz. “Scandalised commotion” and “desist with immediate effect”. From one woman to another, this author captures perfectly the crazy internal extreme woman’s dialogue, it’s like she’s climbed into our heads! Of course this goes without saying – Ms Keyes, please do not desist! This was simply litch hilaire. Just loved it from woe to go. – Suzann, NSWm 5 stars

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            Publisher details

            Grown Ups
            Marian Keyes
            04 February, 2020


            The new classic from the queen of contemporary fiction.A brand-new book from the Number One bestselling author of The Break and The Woman Who Stole My Life.They're a glamorous family, the Caseys.Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it.Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?
            Marian Keyes
            About the author

            Marian Keyes

            Marian Keyes is the international bestselling author of WatermelonLucy Sullivan is Getting MarriedRachel's HolidayLast Chance SaloonSushi for BeginnersAngelsThe Other Side of the StoryAnybody Out There, This Charming Man, The Brightest Star in the Sky, The Mystery of Mercy Close and The Woman Who Stole My Life. She has also published two collections of journalism, Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet and Saved by Cake, an extremely honest account of her battle with depression and how baking helped her. Marian lives in Dublin with her husband.

            Books by Marian Keyes


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