Adult Onset by Ann Marie MacDonaldAdult Onset by Ann Marie MacDonald

Adult Onset

byAnn Marie MacDonald

Hardcover | September 30, 2014

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From the acclaimed, bestselling author of 2 beloved classics, Adult Onset is a powerful drama about motherhood, the dark undercurrents that break and hold families together, and the power and pressures of love.
          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.
Ann-Marie MacDonald is an author, actor, playwright and broadcaster. She trained as an actor at the National Theatre School of Canada and has appeared in numerous independent Canadian films. She earned a Genie nomination for her role in I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, and won a Gemini Award for Where the Spirit Lives. She has performe...
Title:Adult OnsetFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.58 × 6.62 × 1.36 inPublished:September 30, 2014Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345808274

ISBN - 13:9780345808271

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A challenging read I am an avid fan of MacDonalds writing. I did, however, find this book challenging to read around midway. The daily grind of the protagonist was starting to wear on me. I found it repetitive at times. Perhaps that was the point. Mary Rose was cracking under the stress of being a stay at home parent. I was thinking, "thank God I don't have small children at home." ... And I like kids. Granted, MR was under the stress of past demons. I felt that for much of the story she was trapped in her head and I was right there with her. It was an uncomfortable place. In the end I found MacDonald's writing to be as intelligent and informed as always. She managed to pull me back into the story in the last hundred pages. Before that, like Mary Rose, I had just about hit my threshold of dysfunction and single parenting. With revelations about the past and a sense of redemption for each major character, I was satisfied with the outcome. This is an honest story about children, parenting, families, and mental wellbeing. There are so many pressures in day to day living. These factors were well represented. While this was not an easy or light read, it was, overall, a good read.
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from couldn't finish this I rarely put a book down, but I gave up on this one. I had never read any of her books and only got this one from the library for my book club. Thank heavens I didn't waste my money buying it. I could not feel engaged with the main character at all. The flashbacks were mildly interesting. Yes, motherhood is hard and causes you to doubt yourself all the time. Duh! Every mother knows that and it's not enough to create a book.
Date published: 2015-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing A difficult subject done with a delicate touch. Lyrical and elegant, you will fall in love with Mary-Rose, even as you watch her fall apart.
Date published: 2015-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Adult Onset This short story moves back and forth in time while covering only a few days in the present. Beautifully written with ciuntless special quips for Toronto folk, it reminds me of the daily grind f raising small children, almost forcing me to relive the rigors of the experience. The remarkable thing for me is the difference between the lesbian nuclear family and my own hetero experience - none worth mentioning. A disappountment after the brilliant Fall on your Knees, but a solid literary voyage well worth the trip.
Date published: 2015-08-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring I really loved Fall on Your Knees so I had very high expectations for this book. But frankly, it is very boring and I struggle to keep my attention on what I am reading, which is the exact opposite of what I look for in a book. I've tried to keep going and was a bit reluctant to write this review, but now that I see I am not alone in finding this book very boring I will just put it down and start another one. I kept hoping I would turn a corner and it would start to keep me interested, but I am now a little over half way through and it still does nothing for me. Save yourself the money and buy something more interesting.
Date published: 2015-06-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No sure I will ever finish this book. I loved her other books and was very much looking forward to this one. After the first few chapters, I set it aside and haven't been able to find a compelling reason to pick it up again. Very boring!
Date published: 2015-01-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Missing story I kept waiting for the story to get some momentum. Being in a gay relationship isnt enough to keep a reader invested in a story.
Date published: 2015-01-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ho hum I was disappointed with this book...I had enjoyed the other 2 I read and was eagerly looking forward to her new one but found the topic to be uninteresting, the plot predictable and the general flow tedious...although well written and funny I was bored after the first 60 pages.. I .will be cautious about purchasing her next one...perhaps she's tired with her life and thought by sharing it she would be revived!!
Date published: 2015-01-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A disappoint I loved her first two novels but was very disappointed with this third book. Not much happens. It is true that parenting is often challenging but I feel that the book is more about navel gazing.
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Getting by with a little help from your friends I liked this book, but I must warn the potential reader that if you've read "Fall On Your Knees" MacDonald has covered this ground before. Her stories are interesting and detailed and give the reader a real sense of place and character but, it seems to me that she's covering the same psychological ground over and over again. What ever in her subconscious needs to dragged kicking and screaming into the light of day, held up for scrutiny and finally exorcised. I hope that MacDonald is able to accomplish this Herculean task and move on.
Date published: 2015-01-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Adult Onset This is a boring book too much about poopie diapers etc . This person is like a hamster on a wheel. Some one who is this smart would get herself some professional help. I feel cheated that I PAID for thIS BOOK! SUCH A DiSAPPOINTMENT. Half way thru I began skipping. So glad I can mark it closed. I'll never read an Ann-Marie Mac Donald book again.
Date published: 2015-01-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very very disappointing I went and paid full price for this book as I love Mary Ann MacDonald. It was so slow and confusing, repetitive and at time very annoying. Nothing happens in this book...NOTHING!!!!! No resolution at the end, dark, not spend your money on this book!
Date published: 2014-12-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Cheera Not her best work. She needs a break from her child-care duties.
Date published: 2014-12-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Really I read this book and have to say I didn't follow it most of the time. It was all over the place and there was very little resolution at the end of the book. Although well written it still could have had more closure at the end.
Date published: 2014-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A different type of family saga At first glance, this is a very different novel from Ann-Marie MacDonald's previous two (Fall on Your Knees and The Way the Crow Flies), with its familiar and contemporary Toronto setting and barely disguised narrator. But the hallmarks of her other books are here too: the epic sense of family secrets, the dark sense of humour, the personal as political. A very powerful work from one of Canada's best authors.
Date published: 2014-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like An Old Friend... Ms. Macdonald never disappoints. If I can't directly relate to an experience she writes about, I am, at least, presented with a moment of delight - seeing a part of the world...or life...from a new and amusing viewpoint. Reading her books is like spending time with that high school friend who used to make you laugh (or cry) until your sides ached. She adds the most amazing colour to the ordinary and mundane events that occur in all of our lives. Please, please...write another book. Soon!
Date published: 2014-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from over again I finished it and started it all over again immediately. It is full of references that are subtle enough to be missed the first time and it was better on re-read. It is a good read
Date published: 2014-10-27

Editorial Reviews

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLERFINALIST 2014 – Lambda Literary Awards’ Lesbian General Fiction Award “Riveting…. MacDonald’s strong narrative is a compelling examination of the loneliness and the often-absurd helplessness of being a parent of young children.”  —Publishers Weekly “She has again delivered a masterpiece.”  —The Globe and Mail “It is a high achievement for a writer to portray the persistent worry of avoidance in a way than rings true, and MacDonald has beyond succeeded…. The book is an absolute triumph of terrifying authenticity.”  —Stacey May Fowles, National Post    “Though all of Ann-Marie’s works are very distinct entities…her third book has the same beautifully crafted descriptions and character-driven storytelling that readers have come to love from the writer.”  —Canadian Living   “It is a stunning and powerful work that will knock readers on their collective keister…. In Adult Onset, every character has depth, a story, nuance.”  —Post City Toronto “Definitely recommended.” —Daily Mail   “A powerful psychological gyre…. A large-hearted, resonant novel, filled with an interiority that opens out—a generous work.” —Amity Gaige, The Guardian    “A sensitive and unmistakably heartfelt novel.” —The Sunday Times   “An affecting, multilayered account of domestic ennui and the painful effects of long-held secrets on three generations.” —Kirkus Reviews   “A complex, troubling novel that cuts with surgical precision into the sinew and muscle of family life.” —Sarah Waters, author of The Paying Guests    “Adult Onset took me completely by surprise…. Reviewers can call [it] a masterpiece, a dissection of Macdonald’s own life, a book about motherhood and powerful undercurrents, etc. Yet these comments seem so academic and removed from the actual book, which seems to me to demand a deep and honest conversation about real families, about our real experiences as children and mothers. About real pain.” —The Joy Experiment    “Macdonald’s book remains spellbinding throughout. It is impossible to forget.”  —Paul Gessell, Quill & Quire