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The Awkward Age: A Novel
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2017
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Description
"A very smart, soulful, compelling, elegantly written domestic novel about a wedged-together family, and what can go wrong when teenage children decide they have minds (and hormones) of their own." Nick Hornby 
“A spry and accomplished comedy of manners.” —The New York Times Book Review


“They've chosen the one thing that will make our family life impossible. It's genius really, when you think about it. It's the perfect sabotage.”
 
Julia Alden has fallen deeply, unexpectedly in love. American obstetrician James is everything she didn't know she wanted—if only her teenage daughter, Gwen, didn't hate him so much. Uniting two households is never easy, but when Gwen turns for comfort to James's seventeen-year-old son, Nathan, the consequences will test her mother's loyalty and threaten all their fragile new happiness.
This is a moving and powerful novel about the modern family: about starting over; about love, guilt, and generosity; about building something beautiful amid the mess and complexity of what came before. It is a story about standing by the ones we love, even while they make mistakes. We would give anything to make our children happy. But how much should they ask?
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/16/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780399576478
ASIN:
B01M5CRWVH
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Francesca Segal. (2017). The Awkward Age: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Francesca Segal. 2017. The Awkward Age: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Francesca Segal, The Awkward Age: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Francesca Segal. The Awkward Age: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:45:09
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:43:35
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 25, 2024 08:05:23
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Feb 19, 2024 17:49:27
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Feb 27, 2024 02:25:04

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title
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fullDescription
"A very smart, soulful, compelling, elegantly written domestic novel about a wedged-together family, and what can go wrong when teenage children decide they have minds (and hormones) of their own." Nick Hornby 
“A spry and accomplished comedy of manners.” —The New York Times Book Review


“They've chosen the one thing that will make our family life impossible. It's genius really, when you think about it. It's the perfect sabotage.”
 
Julia Alden has fallen deeply, unexpectedly in love. American obstetrician James is everything she didn't know she wanted—if only her teenage daughter, Gwen, didn't hate him so much. Uniting two households is never easy, but when Gwen turns for comfort to James's seventeen-year-old son, Nathan, the consequences will test her mother's loyalty and threaten all their fragile new happiness.
This is a moving and powerful novel about the modern family: about starting over; about love, guilt, and generosity; about building something beautiful amid the mess and complexity of what came before. It is a story about standing by the ones we love, even while they make mistakes. We would give anything to make our children happy. But how much should they ask?
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 20, 2017
        This observant comedy of manners about a contemporary blended family by the author of The Innocents is deepened by the author’s compassion for her self-deluded characters. Widowed Julia, a British piano teacher, has just allowed her new love James, an obstetrician from Boston, to move in, and they’re relishing their relationship—except for the presence of their teenage kids. Julia’s gawky, artistic daughter, Gwen, and James’s snarky, intellectual son, Nathan, despise each other and make life miserable for their parents—until they start to become attracted to each other, which creates a much deeper set of problems. James’s ex-wife and the separated parents of Julia’s deceased husband all weigh in on the situation, while going through emotional changes of their own. In prose to savor, Segal reflects on the conflicts between loving one’s spouse and one’s children and the difficulties in putting one’s own offspring first. She skillfully ups the stakes in the battle in which the four primary family members are engaged, as the previously close Julia and Gwen find themselves at war and each aggrieved to be misunderstood by the other. If adolescence is “fraught with awkwardness,” Segal ably demonstrates that adulthood is as well.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2017
        A novel about the trials and tribulations of family life.Gwen is unhappy about her mother's new relationship. After her father died, several years back, the now-teenage Gwen and her mother, Julia, were on their own, just the two of them. Now there's not only a man to deal with, for all intents and purposes a stepfather, but also a stepbrother, and they've all moved into Julia's London town house together. Segal's (The Innocents, 2012) latest effort is a moving, funny, and surprisingly gripping story about love and guilt and family life and teenagers. She moves adroitly between points of view so that we see Gwen's perspective but also Julia's, James' (Julia's beau), and Nathan's (James' son)--sometimes within the space of a few paragraphs. At the beginning, Gwen and Nathan can't stand each other: Gwen is an artistic, indifferent student, while Nathan studies intensely, his gaze set on Oxford. They tease and provoke each other, and the atmosphere of the house is, to say the least, tense. After a while, though, something shifts between them, and Nathan and Gwen grow closer and--to their parents' horror--closer. What happens next might be somewhat predictable, but that doesn't make the story any less riveting. Gwen is faced with a choice that will determine not only her own life, but also the lives of the whole household. Throughout all this, Segal's prose is clear and precise and the novel is so engrossing it's hard to put down. Despite all their fine intentions, Julia and James can't help placing extra blame for their situation on the other's child; each sympathizes with his or her own offspring. There are no clear answers here--not because there is no right or wrong but because family life is messy and teenagers even messier. In finely wrought prose, with characters who seem to walk beside us and speak aloud, Segal's latest novel is a sympathetic portrait of the difficulties in finding love and raising teenagers.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2017
        Years after the heartbreaking death of her husband, Julia Alden has rediscovered the passion, companionship, and comfort that comes with true partnership. James Fuller is funny, friendly, and a perfect match for Julia. Even though Julia and James have fallen for one another, their teenage children seem to despise each other. Gwen and Nathan are a year apart, full of teenage angst and roiling hormones, and appear constitutionally unable to get along. Also orbiting this new relationship are Julia's former in-laws and James' ex-wife, as if there wasn't enough pressure in their lives. As Julia and James figure out how to nurture their relationship in the middle of what feels like a fishbowl, everyone discovers how much growing up they all have left to do. Flitting among the perspectives of all three generations, author Segal allows all members of the family their turn in the spotlight. Julia might be the central character of Segal's ode to the Sandwich Generation, but strong-willed Gwen steals the second half of the novel. Readers who enjoyed Holly Chamberlin's The Season of Us (2016) and the works of Meg Wolitzer and Matthew Norman will adore this frank and unfiltered glimpse inside one family's struggles and successes.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2017

        When Julia Alden falls for American obstetrician James, whom her daughter, Gwen, loathes, Gwen turns to James's 17-year-old son, Nathan. Thereby hangs a tale of guilt, loyalty, and uncertain happiness. The second novel from Costa First Novel and Betty Trask award winner Segal.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from April 15, 2017

        For five years, fortysomething Londoner Julia and her daughter, Gwen, 16, have made peace with their grief following the death of Daniel, beloved husband and father. Now, unexpectedly, Julia and James, a divorced American doctor working in England, fall madly in love, and James and 17-year-old son Nathan, move in with Julia and Gwen. At first, the adults adeptly manage the animosity between Gwen and Nathan, both resentful of this disruption to the familiar. But when Gwen and Nathan become romantically and carelessly entangled, all hell breaks loose. Everyone--James's flamboyant ex-wife, Julia's former in-laws--has an opinion about the best course of action. The attitudes of both Gwen, a talented artist, and Nathan, a brilliant student on track for medical school, threaten not only to derail their academic futures but their parents' life together. Love and romance in all their difficult, volatile combinations have no limits in this multigenerational dissection of the eternal conundrum of life: what brings us together can tear us apart. VERDICT Prize-winning author Segal (The Innocents) offers no easy answers in this compassionate novel that surprises until the very end. [See Prepub Alert, 11/27/16.]--Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 15, 2017

        For five years, fortysomething Londoner Julia and her daughter, Gwen, 16, have made peace with their grief following the death of Daniel, beloved husband and father. Now, unexpectedly, Julia and James, a divorced American doctor working in England, fall madly in love, and James and 17-year-old son Nathan, move in with Julia and Gwen. At first, the adults adeptly manage the animosity between Gwen and Nathan, both resentful of this disruption to the familiar. But when Gwen and Nathan become romantically and carelessly entangled, all hell breaks loose. Everyone--James's flamboyant ex-wife, Julia's former in-laws--has an opinion about the best course of action. The attitudes of both Gwen, a talented artist, and Nathan, a brilliant student on track for medical school, threaten not only to derail their academic futures but their parents' life together. Love and romance in all their difficult, volatile combinations have no limits in this multigenerational dissection of the eternal conundrum of life: what brings us together can tear us apart. VERDICT Prize-winning author Segal (The Innocents) offers no easy answers in this compassionate novel that surprises until the very end. [See Prepub Alert, 11/27/16.]--Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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"A very smart, soulful, compelling, elegantly written domestic novel about a wedged-together family, and what can go wrong when teenage children decide they have minds (and hormones) of their own." Nick Hornby 
“A spry and accomplished comedy of manners.” —The New York Times Book Review


“They've chosen the one thing that will make our family life impossible. It's genius really, when you think about it. It's the perfect sabotage.”
 
Julia Alden has fallen deeply, unexpectedly in love. American obstetrician James is everything she didn't know she wanted—if only her teenage daughter, Gwen, didn't hate him so much. Uniting two households is never easy, but when Gwen turns for comfort to James's seventeen-year-old son, Nathan, the consequences will test her mother's loyalty and threaten all their fragile new happiness.
This is a moving and powerful novel about the...
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      • description: Fiction / Family Life / General