REVIEW – Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Adult OnsetTitle – Adult Onset
Author – Ann-Marie MacDonald
Publication date – April 14th 2015
Genre – Literary Fiction/Contemporary
Rating – ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Goodreads | Author’s Website | Buy the book

I received a proof copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Mary-Rose MacKinnon–nicknamed MR or “Mister”–is a successful YA author who has made enough from her writing to semi-retire in her early 40s. She lives in a comfortable Toronto neighbourhood with her partner, Hilary, a busy theatre director, and their 2 young children, Matthew and Maggie, trying valiantly and often hilariously to balance her creative pursuits with domestic demands, and the various challenges that (mostly) solo parenting presents. As a child, Mary-Rose suffered from an illness, long since cured and “filed separately” in her mind. But as her frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms which compel her to rethink her memories of her own childhood and her relationship with her parents. With her world threatening to unravel, the spectre of domestic violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her life and that of her own children. – Goodreads Description

Adult Onset is something very unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s told over the span of a week from mainly the POV of a mother of two young children as she deals with caring for her children and dealing with her past memories. However it frequently flashbacks to memories of the protagonists mothers and excerpts of the main protagonists YA novel which I found very interesting. This story deals with very delicate subjects such as child abuse and mental illness and overall I think the author handled it very well though there were some small problems. (I’d definitely recommend checking for trigger warnings.)

This book makes you feel like you’re reading somebody’s diary, it’s very personal and sometimes uncomfortable. The writing style is imperfect and fractured which just made it even more compelling for me. I definitely recommend picking this up because for me it was just one of those books that dragged me in and really made me think. A little problem I had was that the POV switches could get a bit confusing and sometimes disconnected me from the story a little bit but other than that it’s a great read.

Have you read this novel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 🙂


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