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GROWN-UPS (working title)

Marie Aubert

  • Original Title: VOKSNE MENNESKER
  • Publication date: January 2019
  • Country: NO
  • 141 print pages
  • Drama


  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Norway
  • Themes: FAMILY, Siblings, Maternity, PEOPLE facing life, Life choice, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Rivalry, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Intolerance, LOVE / HATE, Jealousy, Dysfunctional family, Identity crisis, Social relations, Commitment, Loyalty


An honest story about the difficult inner workings of sisterhood and being a single woman in her forties, who hasn’t created her own family.


End of September 2019: The book is on its second reprint (10,000 copies so far) and has been 8 weeks in the bestseller list.

Translation rights sold in World English, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Romania and Germany

Described as sitting "somewhere in the landscape between Vigdis Hjorth and Sally Rooney".

The agent writes: "GROWN-UPS is a novel of sibling rivalry and what the Germans call “Torschlusspanik” – the panic you get when the doors are about to close in front of you. It’s about childlessness and what the feeling of not succeeding in the most fundamental things does to your position in the family hierarchy. And it’s about how shame can make us do things we definitely shouldn’t do.
Aubert’s sharp and light, but she also shows great empathy for her characters, who are basically just normally people who behave badly towards people they love. It’s great fun, and increasingly, also pretty terrible – there are scenes in the book where you just want to hide behind the sofa out of sheer embarrassment for Ida’s behavior."

Debut novel.

Marie Aubert is a Swedish author. She made her debut with the short story collection CAN I COME HOME WITH YOU (2016), which was a huge success in Norway, selling more than 10,000 copies.


The book’s narrator is Ida, a 40-year-old architect, childless and without a partner. Ida travels to the family’s idyllic cabin by sea to celebrate her mother’s birthday. There she also meets her younger sister Marthe, who has a partner and a “bonus child”, but no children of her own. Ida has been looking forward to telling Marthe the big news: that she has been to a fertility clinic in Gothenburg to extract eggs, which are to be frozen and used when she meets the right man a few years from now. But Marthe beats her to it, and tells Ida her own big news: that she is finally pregnant. Within a few days Ida’s world falls apart, and she crosses some lines that shouldn’t be crossed – ever.

GROWN-UPS is a novel of family ties worn thin, jealousy and self-assertion, and the shame of not being loved.

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