‘The Adults’ by Alison Espach

Unwittingly, I’ve had a bit of a burst on stories centred in New England, America. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m quite partial to a particular mix of Connecticut preppiness and wild Nantucket coastline.

The Adults by Alison Espach is a story about Emily Vidal, an average teenager who becomes involved in a questionable relationship with an ‘adult’.

The story is told as a series of episodes in Emily’s life. The choice of these settings is seemingly insignificant – her father’s 50th birthday party, a biology class – yet they are used as the backdrop for bigger issues including the breakdown of Emily’s parent’s marriage, peer pressure, suicide, Emily’s growing sexuality and so forth.

There’s a really good cast of characters (just waiting to be put on film, I suspect) including Emily’s best friend, Janice, who she alternately worships and despises, as one does with ‘best friends’ in high school. Emily’s mother is also a fabulous example of the suburban-housewife- ‘keeping up appearances’-whilst-having- a- nervous- breakdown type of character. Continue reading