I give this book 2 / 5 – ☆☆
The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.
So opens A Place for Us by Harriet Evans, a book you’ll dive into, featuring a family you’ll fall in love with … and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you’ll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors. The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside. The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm. Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems. After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret. But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this? Welcome to Winterfold. Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What I liked about the book?
I liked the idea of the disjointed family and like the way Martha’s character is portrayed, she is very believable as a person in a small village. I can see a family who looks on the outside to be privileged as so many country folk were, but the reality was different. This is a complex novel and I can see intricate workings of the writers mind although it feels untamed.
What I was unsure about:
I found this book to be very depressing without much lightness to it.
This is about a family and the secrets which everyone has. The mainstay of the family is Martha the Grandmother, wife to David, the artist who has spent a lifetime producing cartoons about Daisy and Wilber a dog.
Who is Daisy: she is their first child who appears to be wild and out of control and whom we know very little about. In fact I am not sure we get to know anyone in the family personally. I did not feel connected to the family at all. I wanted so much to like at least one of them personally, but could not.
Florence would have been a book in itself, her life her story was interesting, but I felt that she was type cast as a typical geeky woman in academia who has little social skills.
There is a kind of flow to the book which comes back to Martha and the parties that she holds at the grand house where the family gets together and put on a show for the invited villagers . Martha feels her duty to host these parties for the village and be be the mother hen. However despite the outward appearance of togetherness the family have drifted apart.
Each person had their own narrative which became confusing with so many of them, and because of this I found it difficult to like any of them and could not connect to them.
I found the book very readable, but my wish to have the big secret revealed was lost the within the complexity of the plot. The mind of the writer is probably more interesting than this book because it is so complex. I found the only person I wanted to know about was Florence: she is someone who should have their own book, such an enigma in her own right.
I am not sure I will bother to read the next book because it is hard work reading this style of novel. This for me was not a book that lent itself to a sequel. I can guess the secret: Daisy/Forence is the child of the lover her husband had and Martha who took her in as her own and even if this is incorrect it would not matter Put this in one book and it would have satisfied the reader.
My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Netalley for an honest review.
Price1.49 Currency GBP
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