Publisher: St. Martin's Press
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Ann Leary
returns following The Good House
(2013) with THE CHILDREN
continuing with a New England complex blended family, with dark secrets. From humor, wealth, and lots of dysfunction—surrounding Lakeside-an entertaining contemporary domestic suspense with Leary's trademark style.Narrated by Charlotte,
29-year-old single, with no children; however, is hiding behind a fake mommy blog, and has not left home since her stepfather Whit’s death, three years prior. Whit loved telling
family stories with cancer at age sixty-five and kept the diagnosis to himself—a few months before he died. His wife Joan did not tell the children until after he was gone. Gran was eighty-nine when she died (lots of family history).Charlotte
along with her sister, Sally, grew up in his house. Lakeside Cottage (four generations) still owned by the Whitman estate and left to Charlotte’s stepbrothers, Perry and Spin Whitman. Joan had been allowed to live here for the remainder of her life as part of the family trust. Sally and Charlotte are not part of the trust, being Maynard's, not Whitman's. Sally lives in Manhattan,
and Charlotte lives at Lakeside with Joan. It is free and she works from home. Plus, she is thinking of writing a book about Laurel Atwood, or turn it into a memoir. Charlotte wonders why Joan is so worried about the book, when he was dead when Spin met Laurel. Whit was a kind man
and come across a little gruff, according to Charlotte. She had known him since he was two years old. He fell in love with her mother the summer of 1988 just before he turned forty. It was complex with the other spouses. Wealthy and eccentric. When he married her mom, he left his job at his father in law’s firm and lived off the interest of his trust. He was interested in American history—American bluegrass music and banjos. His obsession. Spin and Perry
stepbrothers, visited every other weekend, holidays, and one month of the summer. Marissa, the ex wife had remarried to a wealthy husband. There is Spin’s girlfriend, Laurel from Idaho where Hemingway lived at the end of his life. Charlotte is intrigued with Laurel and there is mystery surrounding her.
Then there is Sally, (bipolar) who has moved home after losing her job as a violinist in Manhattan—her past history is not so solid. The mysterious Mr. Clean. Everette, the caretaker.
The night of the Fourth, the argument on the beach. From lovers,
lies, fabrications, flaws, inheritances, wills, death, grief, regrets, and resentments—a blended family and the aftermath left behind by their patriarch, when secrets are unraveled. When people die, with a blended family or traditional families, things can get nasty. When it comes to real estate, money, secrets, stepfamilies, and siblings …. crazy. Consequences. From social media,
intrigue, wacky characters, wit, mystery, quirky, eccentric and lots of emotional drama. The first part of the book is witty and comical, and the latter, darker- as the secrets are exposed, and come to the surface.
New England wealth, evil shockers, with a blending of family cracks and fissures. Leary fans will enjoy, as well as fans of family drama and domestic suspense. She knows how to tell secrets!