Monday, 13 October 2014

Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald

By Ann-Marie MacDonald
Hardcover, 400 pages

I have been waiting so very long (it seems) for this multi-talented lady to come out with a new book. As the Crow Flies and Fall on Your Knees are on my list of  favourite books ever. Okay, it may be a bit of a long list. But hey, all I do is read.

Adult Onset is distinctly personal and at times comes across as self-indulgent until it hits you - that's how it's supposed to me. The inner machinations of the human mind - bored, distressed, anxious, overwhelmed... everything we try to hide from others is right there for us to read.

At times uncomfortable, MacDonald nails it for us. The way the mind can work so clearly and trick us at the same time. Even though everything is right in front of us.

She is a brilliant author, and this is a difficult subject. I'm not sure how much is autobiographical, but I am sure at least fragments are.

Definitely bound to win a few literary awards.

From the Back Flap:

From the acclaimed, bestselling author of 2 beloved classics, Adult Onset is a powerful drama about motherhood, the dark undercurrents that break and hold families together, and the power and pressures of love.
          Mary Rose MacKinnon--nicknamed MR or "Mister"--is a successful YA author who has made enough from her writing to semi-retire in her early 40s. She lives in a comfortable Toronto neighbourhood with her partner, Hilary, a busy theatre director, and their 2 young children, Matthew and Maggie, trying valiantly and often hilariously to balance her creative pursuits with domestic demands, and the various challenges that (mostly) solo parenting presents. As a child, Mary Rose suffered from an illness, long since cured and "filed separately" in her mind. But as her frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms which compel her to rethink her memories of her own childhood and her relationship with her parents. With her world threatening to unravel, the spectre of domestic violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her life and that of her own children.

Ann-Marie MacDonald is an author, actor, playwright and broadcaster. She trained as an actor at the National Theatre School of Canada and has appeared in numerous independent Canadian films. She earned a Genie nomination for her role in I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, and won a Gemini Award for Where the Spirit Lives. She has performed in theatres across Canada, recently appearing in the Mirvish Production of Top Girls.

Her first solo-authored play, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) won the Chalmers Award, the Governor General’s Award, and the Canadian Authors’ Association Award. Her other works for the stage include the libretto for the chamber opera Nigredo Hotel, book and lyrics for the musical Anything that Moves (which garnered several Dora Awards, including Outstanding New Musical), and Belle Moral: A Natural History.

Ann-Marie’s first novel, Fall on Your Knees (1996), was a critically acclaimed international bestseller.  It won the Commonwealth Prize, was short-listed for the Giller Prize, and won the People’s Choice Award and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year. In 2002 it became an Oprah’s Book Club selection. It has been translated into 19 languages. Her second novel, The Way the Crow Flies (2003), was an international bestseller, a finalist for the Giller Prize, and a Good Morning America Book Club pick. It has been translated into 13 languages.

Ann-Marie is presently host and narrator of CBC’s Doc Zone. She lives in Toronto with her partner and their two children.