The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.
When Martha, a wife and mother of three, sits down one late summer’s morning to write out the invitations to her eightieth birthday celebration, she knows that what she is planning to reveal at the party could ruin the idyllic life she and her husband David have spent over fifty years building…
But she has to let her family know what she and David have sacrificed. She can’t live a lie any more.
The invitation goes out far and wide, calling her three children and their families back home to Winterfold, their rambling house in the heart of the English countryside. They are Bill, the doctor; Florence, the eccentric academic; and Daisy, the child who never fit in. As the story unfolds, each character reveals the secrets, joys, and tragedies they are wrestling with through the confines of the family. What will happen when Martha finally tells the truth?
I haven’t read any of Harriet Evans’ books before I read A Place for Us, so I didn’t know what to expect. The Winters appear to be the perfect family, but no family can be that perfect and one by one their secrets begin to surface. Martha Winter is approaching 80 and invites all her family to a party stating that she has an important announcement to make. The book has a slow start as the Winter family is large and it took me a while to get them all clear in my mind – I drew a family tree for myself which helped. It turns out that they are by no means the perfect family – rather dysfunctional in fact.
I thought some characters were more fully developed than others, which makes the book rather disjointed and I was more interested in some at the expense of others, Florence, the younger daughter who is an art historian living in Italy is perhaps the most interesting.
However, after the slow start I soon guessed what the big secret was and I thought it all became too predictable. An entertaining, if undemanding book, which I think could have benefited from being shorter.
My thanks to Lovereading who sent me a copy of this book for review.
One thought on “A Place for Us by Harriet Evans”
Editing makes all the difference, doesn’t it, Margaret? It sounds like a very interesting premise for a novel, but I can see how you found it a bit predictable once you’d guessed the big secret.. Still, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
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