Best-selling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (The Nanny Diaries) have delivered another fun and frothy read with How to Be a Grown-Up, a story in which mommy-lit meets “Sex and the City.”
Our heroine, Rory McGovern, is living in New York with her actor husband, Blake, and their two small children. She’s a part-time magazine editor; he’s an actor struggling to land the big role that will catapult his career. When Blake loses an acting job that was sure to make him famous, he decides he needs a break from fatherhood, responsibility—and financially contributing to the family. He moves out, leaving Rory shocked and paralyzed by the potential destruction of their seemingly idyllic Manhattan life.
Driven by a dwindling bank account, Rory takes a job at JeuneBug, a “children’s lifestyle” start-up run by two 20-something business school grads who wear shoes that cost more than a week-long vacation. Rory spends much of her day trying to decipher terminology like design vertical, branding ops and backloading appendixes, and her impossibly immature bosses make her re-entry into the working world less than smooth.
Meanwhile, Blake seems to be slipping further away from his role as father and husband. When Rory discovers that Blake is on Tinder, she decides to play the field and finds herself juggling a group of suitors that includes her boss’ 24-year-old boyfriend.
McLaughlin and Kraus have given us late 30-somethings a little summertime indulgence. As The Nanny Diaries did for readers in their 20s, How to Be a Grown-Up hits the midlife sweet spot.