Recommended Reading: Coming of Age Adult Fiction

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In Between DreamsThe journey into adulthood isn't the same for everyone. Each person has their own coming of age story, and literary characters are no different. Perhaps that's what makes coming of age fiction so appealing; it's so much easier to read about the struggles of a fictional character than focus on our own! In any case, the tragic, heart-warming, and sometimes even hilarious coming of age tales can be entertaining to any sort of audience. Read on for a few stories in this genre that are recommended by your Dublin City Public Library & Archive.

A secret being revealed can often have a huge (and sometimes devastating) impact on one's coming of age. In In Between Dreams by Iman Verjee, this is no different. Verjee's novel tells the tale of an adolescent named Frances, who after the death of her grandmother and a 16th birthday celebration gone wrong, is sent to boarding school. She grew up sheltered in a neighbourhood of white picket fences and domestic tranquillity, raised by doting parents. From the outside at least, her life should have been nothing less than ideal. Underneath the surface however, darkness lurks. While removed from her picturesque life at the new boarding school, Frances is forced to come face to face with some of the deeper and darker realities of her life, and confront some of these unfortunate truths that are surfacing whether she wants them to or not. 

The WeddingCarson McCuller's The Member of the Wedding is not only a novel, but also is an award-winning play and film. This is the coming of age tale of 12-year-old Frankie, a young girl bored with life until she becomes involved with her older brother's wedding. Motherless Frankie becomes fascinated by the ordeal, and even tries to hop along on the honeymoon. Wonder how the bride and groom feel about that...

McCuller plays with humour and memory in her novel, which makes Frankie's story even more endearing as the girl searches for something to belong to, and some bigger purpose to be devoted to, which is something that many people can relate to. The search to fit in and become a part of something is not a new quest, but rather a tale as old as time.

Sisterhoof EverlastingThe next title may be familiar to those that were once or still are fans of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants novels by Ann Brashares. This is a continuation of those books, also by Ann Brashares, titled Sisterhood Everlasting. The girls (Lena, Carmen, Bridget and Tibby) are now approaching their 30s, and a lot has changed. They've grown apart over the years, and lead separate lives across the world. Lena teaches art in Rhode Island, Carmen is an actress in New York, Bridget is on the West Coast in San Francisco with her boyfriend Eric, and Tibby is married in Australia with a daughter. A lot has happened since their adventures in college and during their teen years. Tibby wants a reunion though, and gets the girls together again for a return trip to Greece. They're not teenagers anymore, and they have some difficult obstacles to overcome in this final episode of their saga, but thankfully their friendship is strong enough to get them through these struggles. 

There are even more coming of age stories to choose from in the library catalogue. Take a look, and if it suits you, disappear into the life of someone else for awhile. 

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