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It’s not easy being a grown-up, but at 47, Eleanor hoped she’d be better at it by now…

 But when Eleanor waves her daughter off for a gap-year trip, she
finds herself stuck as a satellite wife, spinning in faithful orbit
around her domineering husband, with only a stash of hidden books
and her brilliant but judgmental father Conrad for comfort.

Andrew isn’t mastering the art of growing up either. When he
finds his belongings dumped on the drive, although he may not
understand women very well, even he can see that this looks like
some kind of hint… and so he moves back in with his parents.

Backing onto Andrew’s parents lives artist Cecilia, hemmed
in by clutter and long shadows from the past. She’s always ready to
recount tales of her innumerable ex-lovers, while her grown-up
daughters feel she’s still acting like a misbehaving teenager.
But now these four lives are drawn together by long-buried
secrets of the past, and it is time for them all to grow up, before it’s
too late…

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Acclaim for Growing Up for Beginners:

What people think.

Growing up for Beginners is a clever, bittersweet, uplifting novel, full of relatable, quirky characters who just need to find their way in life. A funny, insightful and satisfying read.



I enjoyed this novel hugely. It's such an elegantly written, tender book and the further I got into the book, the more I cared about the characters.

Coming to see how all the characters were connected gave me a real sense of pleasure. This is a beautiful book, so compassionate about the ways we hold ourselves back, how we can't help but block our own happiness, and ultimately a very hopeful one.





If your life is suffering from a dearth of Claire Calman books, why not try the audio-books as well?


New recordings of some of my backlist titles are now available, alongside my most recent novel, Growing Up for Beginners. 


If you’d like a free taster, take a listen here….

Growing Up for BeginnersClaire Calman
00:00 / 05:01

Voiced by Charlotte Strevens.

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