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.
On a personal level, I found that I had quite a bit of trouble connecting with any of the characters. At that point the story became basically a trite laundry list of bad things that could happen to any under-supervised teenage girl.