Mary Rose MacKinnon--nicknamed MR or "Mister"--is a successful author who has opted to put aside her career in her 40s and devote herself to her young family. She lives in a comfortable urban neighbourhood with her partner, a busy theatre director, and their two children, trying valiantly and often hilariously to balance the demands of (mostly) solo parenting with the needs of her relentlessly spry but elderly parents. As a child, she suffered from an illness, long since cured and "filed separately" in her mind. But as domestic frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms which compel her to rethink her own childhood. Over the course of one outwardly ordinary week, Mister's world threatens to unravel, as the spectre of violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her and her children. Crafted with humour and unerring emotional accuracy, Adult Onset is a contemporary tale by turns searing and uplifting.
1. Did you feel a connection to Mary Rose (MR) and her plight even if your own life is very different? If you are a parent, what elements of her experience, her struggle, the absurdities, could you most relate to?
2. On the surface Mary Rose is living a charmed life: she is a doting mother taking a break from her...
Praise for Adult Onset:"A novel impossible to put down.... Superb, a fine blending of fact and fiction, of remembered incident and forgotten history, a wonderfully written treatise on the power of the past to impinge on the present." --The London Free Press
"Adult Onset shows us a new Ann-Marie MacDonald, one who is willing to break away from the safe scaffolding of a historical structure and offer readers some unflinching and realistic takes on the traditional domestic novel, exploring what it's like for anyone struggling to raise kids in an age of perfection parenting. It's a lively, moving and often funny story that has the potential to help usher in a new era of honest literary depictions of families in all their permutations." --Zoe Whittall, The Walrus
"Has the same beautifully crafted descriptions and character-driven storytelling that readers have come to love from the writer." --Canadian Living