When you’re in college, you think that those people who’ve already graduated and moved on with their lives have everything figured out. But then you graduate and move on yourself, and you discover you’re still the same person who always were, only with more responsibilities and life choices. How you handle that is up to you.
“Now That We’re Adults” is the story of four twenty-something people who are trying to get their adulting game together. Ian and Kat have just gotten married; Ian wants a baby, and Kat goes along with it because that, as she realizes too late, is the kind of person she is. Unfortunately, she’s the one who has to do all the work of carrying and bearing the baby, and then nursing and caring for it once it’s born, which she doesn’t enjoy nearly as much as she thinks she will. Ian feels overwhelmed by work and is resentful of Kat for not being thrilled about changing her name, quitting her job, and putting herself through a draining physical and emotional ordeal in order to create his drama-free dream family. Meanwhile, Wade, Ian’s younger brother, is heartbroken after his long-time girlfriend leaves him because of his immaturity, and Eleanor, the anti-social local librarian, is still nursing the flame of an old high school love ten years later.
The story could be soap-opera-y or weird, but instead all the characters feel natural and authentic. It’s told from alternating points of view, and each character is allowed to come across and sympathetic and engaging. From the cover I was expecting something more game-y; while Wade’s game is a major component of the plot, it’s really more like low-key, slice-of-life literary fiction, although the language and structure are easy-going rather than high-brow. There are some hard life choices in front of the characters, and a certain amount of grit to the story to the book, rather than glamor–this is Scranton, PA, after all–but it’s also positive and heartfelt. Overall, a very enjoyable read about struggles that will be familiar to modern 20-somethings, or anyone who’s every been through that stage of their life.