Three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house one last time before it is sold. The house is filled with memories of their shared past yet beneath the idyllic surface, hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them. Sophisticated and sleek, Roland's new wife arouses his sister' jealousies. Passion erupts where it's least expected, shattering the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister. Over the course of this summer holiday, the family's stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life-bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican winds down to its inevitable end."
"Siblings Harriet, Alice, Fran, and Roland gather at their grandparents' ramshackle house deep in the English countryside for three weeks, ostensibly to decide what to do with it, now that their parents are gone. More than the site of an occasional family retreat, the old house is where their mother brought them when her marriage to their father was failing. Now, Roland is there with his new wife and teenage daughter, joined by Fran and her two precocious children, while Alice appears with the college-age son of a former lover. Only Harriet arrives alone, though ghosts and shadows accompany her just as surely as any flesh-and-blood partner. It's close quarters at the isolated homestead, a veritable petri dish of regret and desire, recrimination and retaliation, all of which bubble up and smolder in dizzying fits of remorse and acceptance. Placing fraught family relationships under the microscope, Hadley (Clever Girl, 2014), wise and discerning, offers a subtle-yet-bold examination of complex emotional subtexts that have the power to bring kin together or destroy the bonds that would otherwise unite them.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Narrator of well over one hundred audio books, Lennon brings a veteran's confidence to this quiet domestic drama in her marvelous evocation of Hadley's language. Lennon prizes the novel's slow description and careful characterizations of several generations of a British family. However, she falls flat in creating recognizable voices for those characters, all middle-aged siblings who return to the family's country house for a summer holiday only to find that the wounds that once defined them are still festering under the surface. In particular, Lennon fails to distinguish the three sisters' voices, despite the sharp differences in their personalities: the pragmatic Fran, the dreamy and self-absorbed Alice, and the chronically apprehensive Hetty. As well, when the novel reverts to an extended flashback to 1968, two other female characters share the same brisk intonations of Lennon's usual voice. Though it's a pleasant and highly intelligent voice, the performance misses the subtlety of Hadley's cast of characters. A Harper hardcover. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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