Customer Reviews for

Playing with the Grown-Ups

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014


    Is this a good book or no my mom says ?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2011

    lovely read.

    I enjoyed this book so much- I wish that Sophie Dahl had more stories to offer! The writing was rich, and the story telling swept me away- I only wish it were longer. Thank you, Sophie!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful Story

    Playing With Grown-ups tells the story of Kitty who is growing up with a troubled family. Most of the family's trouble's center around her rather flighty mother, Marina. Her mother is the source of all of Kitty's trials. From joining a cult to experimenting with drugs-all her behavior clearly mirrors the more seriously troubled behavior of her mother. Her mother is too self-centered and selfish to pay any real attention to Kitty and Kitty desperately craves her mother's love. The story begins with Kitty being phoned in the middle of the night with the information that something has happened to her mother and follows her through her reminisces about her adolescence.

    I was really entertained by this book. I loved Kitty. I wanted to give her my mother for a week. My mother has an over-abundance of affection that I would love to rent out to anyone who needs it and Kitty definitely needs it. As much as I loved Kitty, I wanted to strangle Marina. How selfish can one person be? People like Marina should not be allowed to reproduce. Kitty would have been much better of in Hay with Bestemama and Bestepapa. I was a bit disappointed that they did not play a bigger role in the novel. But then again, if they did, Kitty would not have had much of a story. I thought this book was dark in the right places and funny in others. The writing was effective as it was able to bring out some intense feeling in me. I did feel, however, that the ending was a bit unsatisfying. It was obvious where the book was going to end up but I wanted to see how Kitty got there. I wanted to meet the man she married, know how she met him and how she redeemed herself from her previous downward spiral. That perhaps is the stuff of a longer novel.

    Sophie Dahl is a very talented writer and I look forward to her future novels.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008

    Playing with the Grown-ups is more like Playing with Clich├ęs

    Let's get to the point quickly, just because Sophie Dahl is the grand daughter of Roald Dahl doesn't mean she's only living off of the name & has no real talent of her own, actually the woman has her own unique writing style & it is quite good, rather what's lacking in her debut is a great plot. With Dahl's modern-fairy-tale like prose we're presented with a part enchanted and part horrible childhood of Kitty, the grand daughter of charming English eccentrics, but the daughter of a beautiful mentally unstable hippie mother. The antics Marina puts Kitty through like always sending her off to a new school just when she starts to get comfortable at her current one or dating alcoholics, makes anyone love their own mother more than normal. Yet Kitty's idolization of her mother never fully falters, and due to Dahl's whimsical way with words we can sympathize too. It's just that as Marina's escapades get more grandiose and therefore Kitty gets more out of control too, the enjoyable story turns into an obnoxious loop of stuff we're read before. The ending is especially abrupt and dissatisfying. Dahl has her own writing talent, but her somewhat autobiographical novel needs to step away from her hectic family life for once.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Playing with the Grownups

    Playing with the Grownups is a GenX coming-of-age story told from the point of view of Kitty, a child born to an unmarried high school student who had an affair with a married man. This story is as much the story of Kitty's coming-of-age as it is a story of the coming-of-age of her mother, Marina. The story is told as a series of flashbacks Kitty has while traveling back to England to visit her hospitalized mother. Even outside of the flashback convention, the flow of the story tends to get a bit choppy and comes off reading less as a progressive accounting of Kitty's rather unconventional life and more like a series of snapshot-like short stories. The setting of the story moves back and forth between America and England as Marina desperately tries on a variety of widely different lifestyles trying to find the one that's a good fit for her - usually dragging her 3 children and a live-in nanny along with her - with the expected results.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1