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Female Pride and Persuasion

- Heather Lacy

Good-bye to the month of May! It’s been a stressful time, and I wanted to share some of the books and shows that have provided me respite.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub, author of Modern Lovers

68 year old Astrid Strick has the sudden urge to reveal the skeletons in the Strick family closet, including a big one of her own, after witnessing an acquaintance (more of a frenemy) get struck by a school bus. The three generations of Strick family members that we meet maintain prickly and awkward relationships with each other from harboring hurts and secrets well into adulthood. In the vein of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, Astrid proves to be a humorous and caustic observer of everyday life, but Straub’s story does get bogged down with too many weighty issues that weren’t necessary. Despite those clunky moments, All Adults Here offers nuggets of humor and wisdom with its relatable themes of sibling relationships, aging parents, small town life, and the desire to make amends for past missteps.

If you like Emma Straub, here are some read-alikes:

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney; Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Heather also recommends these new book titles featuring formidable females:

The Henna Artist, How Much of These Hills is Gold, If I Had Your Face

“The Half of It” – Netflix movie

When a friend ends a conversation with, “you don’t know the half of it,” I assume that she has other information which she prefers to keep to herself. Such is the case for high school senior, Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), in the sweet, funny and clever Netflix film, “The Half of It.” An Asian-American girl in a mostly white town, Ellie is a straight-A student, glib and enterprising – and she has no real friends. Ellie also happens to be gay. Her insular existence is upended when she agrees to author a love letter on behalf of her shy classmate, Paul, to Aster, the girl of his dreams. Aster happens to be the girl of Ellie’s dreams as well. The young actors who propel the movie remind us what it is to experience a first love, an unrequited love, and deep teenage friendships in a smart and heartfelt way. I highly recommend!

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