HOW TO BE A GROWN-UP by Emma McLaughlin

HOW TO BE A GROWN-UP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ditched by her actor husband, a Manhattan mom takes a job at an Internet startup run by rude club kids with MBAs.

"Did Maya touch my dream catcher?" shrills Rory McGovern's New-Age–y mother-in-law on the last day of their stay at her un–air-conditioned house outside Woodstock. This is the 10th line of the book, and if it makes you laugh, you're all set, because the Nanny Diaries authors, McLaughlin and Kraus (The First Affair, 2013, etc.), are nonstop quippers, making this amiable work of midlife chick-lit quite a hoot. Rory's husband, Blake, an actor whose picture she had on her wall as a teenager and whom she met as an undergrad at SUNY Purchase—"I will die if I don't touch him"—is now, a couple of kids into their married life in New York City, drifting away. Part of the reason for his depression is that he's not getting any work, so Rory, who's a freelance stylist for shelter magazines, has to get a full-time job. She signs on to curate the design vertical (translation: "edit the interior decorating page") at a startup called JeuneBug, which bills itself as the first high-end lifestyle website for children, as in $15,000 acrylic "snowflake beds" and sharkskin wipe dispensers. In an office where "girls of sizes were now wearing things I once would have called panties to answer phones and populate spreadsheets," Rory is tyrannized by her 20-something boss, who shrieks things like, "obviously these should be force-ranked by potential ad rev clicks." Juggling her job, her suddenly single parenting, a bit of corporate intrigue, and a few suitors—the least promising of whom is her nasty boss's 24-year-old boyfriend—Rory forges bravely through this thoroughly modern mess.

Such a cupcake of a book, it feels like you're doing something more self-indulgent than reading.

Pub Date: July 28th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4345-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2015




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