Claire and Matt are divorced but want their daughter Scarlett to have a ‘normal’ family Christmas with them all together.

Claire brings her seemingly eligible new partner Patrick.

Matt brings his extremely patient girlfriend Alex.

Scarlett brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth through Organised Fun activities, drinking a little too much after bed-time, oversharing classified secrets about their pasts and, before they know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends — where the story starts — with a call to the police …

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


What the press are saying:

‘Sharply hilarious.’

New York Post

‘Genuinely unputdownable books are rare. This is one. A brilliantly original modern comedy of manners starring, as the best character, a  vast, trouble-making invisible purple rabbit. A literary first, surely.’

Daily Mail

‘A razor-sharp comedy. The wince-inducing scenes are barbed and brilliant. 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.’


‘A stellar debut…This debut is the whole package­: realistic, flawed characters placed in an increasingly tense situation, resulting in a surprising, suspenseful novel.’

Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)


The Adults competently executes a delectable premise...Hulse skewers her characters uproariously, zeroing in on every quirk, and she humanizes them, too.’

Entertainment Weekly


‘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 (US)


‘A comedic farce that sears all the goo out of Christmas fables… Tension escalates with hilarious and unexpected results.’

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.’



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

Good Housekeeping (UK)

‘Want a book you can chomp down? The Adults, an acerbic comedy about adults attempting to be grown-ups, is it.’


‘Good dialogue and some nice farcical moments.’

Kirkus Review


‘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.’



‘Edgy, seasonal comedy… By turns funny, toe-curling, touching and true, it is a useful reminder that, as tension rises over the mince pies, things could always be worse.’

YOU magazine


‘If you’re after a book to lift your mood and ease you into autumn, look no further than this hilarious debut. Pure brilliance.’

The Sun


‘Prepare to laugh, smile and cringe as debut novelist Caroline Hulse serves up a tasty dish of simmering resentments, guilty secrets, jealousy and rivalry in a warm, wise and witty tale that explodes into action from the tantalising opening pages. The Adults is a remarkably perceptive and assured first novel that mercilessly zones in on all those familiar fears, flaws and foibles that make us human. Clever, perceptive and wickedly funny, this is a holiday-from-hell extravaganza not to be missed!’

Lancashire Evening Post


‘A laugh-past-where-it-hurts odyssey.’

Read it Forward


What AUTHORS are saying:

‘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 loved it. I couldn't believe it was a debut. It was so funny, and intriguing and I was desperate to know where it was all heading - a great read.’

Mike Gayle, author of The Man I Think I Know

I happily devoured this funny, insightful novel and believe you will, as well.’

Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members


The Adults is both funny & stark; a rare work which finds balance in the tricky corners of artifice, pitch and tone. Caroline Hulse is 'the real thing' and then some.’

M J Hyland, author of Carry Me Down

‘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 Hot Mess

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

The Unmumsy Mum


 ‘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

‘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


‘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


‘I was glued to it and raced through it in 24 hours. I loved every achingly awkward second of it and it’s my top read of 2018 so far. It’s a hilarious, whip smart and painfully observant account of the worst family holiday ever and I think Posey the five foot purple rabbit will stay with me forever. Bloody brilliant!’

Cathy Bramley, author of The Lemon Tree Café 


The Adults has been selected by:

Women & Home as a Paperback of the Month for December 2018

Bookbub as one of ‘16 of the Biggest Books Hitting the Shelves in November’ 

 Entertainment Weekly as one of ‘20 books to read in November’

Library Reads as a November read

What She Reads as one of ‘The Best Holiday Books of 2018’

She Knows as one of ‘The Best New Books to Read This Fall’

YOU reading group as Book of the Month for December 2018

Daily Mail as a Pick of the Year’s Novels in December 2018

Good Housekeeping’s Book Club for December 2018