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Claire and Matt are divorced but decide what’s best for their daughter Scarlett is to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did – and it’s too late to pull the plug.

Claire brings her new boyfriend Patrick, a seemingly eligible Iron-Man-in-Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, their daughter, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit.

Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Organized Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends – where this story starts – with a tearful, frightened, call to the police…

But what happened? They said they’d all be adults about this…


‘Split parents Matt and Claire vow to give their 7-year-old daughter, Scarlett, a normal family Christmas—a plan that includes dragging along their significant others (and Scarlett’s all seeing imaginary rabbit). What could go wrong? Everything, in this lighthearted novel of modern love with a mystery at its core.’
Good Housekeeping

‘A comedic farce that sears all the goo out of Christmas fables…Tension escalates with hilarious and unexpected results.’
Sarah Skilton, Barnes & Noble, November’s Best New Fiction

‘The perfect novel for the age of “conscious uncoupling,” this witty and shrewd story tells what happens when grown-ups promise to act their age — and fail.’
Jennie Yabroff, Brightly

‘Want a book you can chomp down? The Adults, an acerbic comedy about adults attempting to be grown-ups, is it.’
Elena Nicolaou, Refinery 29,The Best Books of November

‘A laugh-past-where-it-hurts odyssey’
Lauren Oster, Read it Forward, The Best Gifts for Trendsetters in 2018

‘A snappy writing style and changing viewpoints make the pages of this debut fly by as readers will want to know what happens next.’
Library Journal (starred review)

‘An entertaining, tongue-in-cheek tale of people who are the adults, after all.’
Michele Leber, Booklist

‘A stellar debut…Hulse does an excellent job building her characters, consistently increasing tension by placing them in close quarters and letting their different personalities clash. This debut is the whole package­: realistic, flawed characters placed in an increasingly tense situation, resulting in a surprising, suspenseful novel.’
Publisher’s Weekly

‘If you’re after a book to lift your mood and ease you into autumn, look no further than this hilarious debut. Pure brilliance.’
Jane Craddock, The Sun (Four stars)

‘Clever, perceptive and wickedly funny, this is a holiday-from-hell extravaganza not to be missed!’
Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Post

‘Genuinely unputdownable books are rare in my experience. This is one… A brilliant, original comedy of contemporary manners.’
Wendy Holden, Daily Mail

‘A razor-sharp comedy. The wince-inducing scenes are barbed and brilliant and the characters are totally convincing. Sparkly, heartfelt and fantastically fun – a fabulous debut.’
Sunday Mirror

‘Packed with wit, engaging characters and off-beat humour, this is a fresh and feisty thrill-ride of a novel.’
Sarah Hughes, Heat

‘The brilliantly funny The Adults by Caroline Hulse will have you wincing in recognition at the foursome’s bad behaviour.’
Good Housekeeping

‘Funny, dry and beautifully observed. Highly recommended for anyone whose Perfect Christmases never quite go according to plan!’
Gill Sims, author of Why Mummy Drinks

‘I took this book on holiday and couldn’t put it down! I’ve never read anything quite like it.’
The Unmumsy Mum

‘Funny, poignant, real – The Adults is a truly original book that made me laugh, cry and cringe in equal measure. I loved it.’
Charlotte Duckworth, author of The Rival

The Adults gripped me from the start… With a razor-sharp eye, Hulse dissects the nightmare of family politics. It’s an assured, well-paced book… Reminiscent of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, this book is a sure-fire winner.’
Cass Hunter, author of The After Wife

‘I have a feeling Caroline Hulse might be a genius, this book is so brilliant. It’s funny, clever and original – I loved every minute of reading it. Also, Posey should get a spin-off TV show.’
Lucy Vine, author of What Fresh Hell and Hot Mess

‘Such a breath of fresh air! Witty, intensely human and (dare I say it) relatable . . . This novel is the perfect comedy of errors.’
Katie Khan, author of Hold Back The Stars

‘I loved every achingly awkward second of it and it’s my top read of 2018 so far! A hilarious, whip smart and painfully observant account of the worst family holiday ever.’
Cathy Bramley, author of A Match Made in Devon, Hetty’s Farmhouse Bakery, The Lemon Tree Café and more

‘I happily devoured this funny, insightful novel and believe you will, as well.’
Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement