An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 8/12/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars
A special thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! A poignant and powerful bittersweet story of a family experiencing loss and love.
This was my first book by the talented UK author, Lisa Jewell, and so look forward to adding more of her other books to my “must read” list.
The gripping novel goes back and forth between present and past day, covering a span of thirty years, from the Easter Sunday of 1981 in the beautiful garden of their Cotswold cottage, idyllic with love, laughter, and a happy family all around, to quite the opposite. A painful demonstration how a perfect family can be torn apart by circumstances-from "treasures to crap".
A perfect front cover image, with the breaking of The Bird family – eccentric mom-65 yr old Lorelei, dad Colin and their four children, Meg, Beth, Rory and Rhys – each of them play a huge and significant part of the overall compelling novel. Lorelei craves memories and wants to hold on to everything to keep her family close.
In the present day, the family comes home for the first time in years following a tragedy, which has left them separated from one another, with bitterness and guilt. Can they restore peace and unearth the many secrets?
Of course, each family member is battling their own demons, as the story unfolds and you keeps you turning to find if they-- can or will survive. Each has their own way of handling this emotion and means of coping, independent of the other. (family drama and dysfunction at its finest!)
There is so much to this book, as hard to describe the depth with highly charged and sensitive topics of insecurities, secrets, hoarding, death, mental illness, bereavement, suicide, adultery personal struggles, and many issues about relationships between parent and child, and husband, wife, lovers, and siblings. (some outside the family which are connected, as well).
Jewell demonstrates incredible insight and sensitivity in developing each of the characters expressed from their individual view point. She explores all sides, (getting inside their heads) both positives and negatives, brilliantly! As a takeaway- there are many --- lost ways, forgiveness, love, trust, courage, acceptance, home and family. The flashbacks were given to the reader and slowly the secrets are revealed – incredible timing and a fabulous storyteller.
A definite captivating page-turner; a tragic, complex, and sometimes heartfelt story--one you will not soon forget! Highly recommend, and look forward to reading more from Lisa.
Believe all the great reviews. It will meet and exceed your expectations – “It IS that good and more”!