what a great book. Good strong characters.At one stage I thought this book was to long but wish it had been a bit longer to tidy up some loose ends. Eventually a book a life lost and found. It is a long time since I have read a bettedr book.
A family secret and the setting, Victoria's Western District, were the two things that drew me to this novel, in a genre I don't usually read. While the opening chapters didn’t pull me in immediately, I’m glad I persevered as this turned out to be a great family drama with a very satisfactory conclusion.
As with all families there is a hierachy within them and the Chirnwells were no different. Not having any sisters, I found it interesting where Harriet, Xara and Georgie thought they belonged in their mother’s affections, how they saw their roles in the family and how they interacted with one another.
Harriet, the eldest of the three Chirnwell sisters, was domineering and not very likeable. Now that her father had passed away, the most like him in temperament, she saw herself as the head of the family and was intent on keeping her mother, Edwina, in line and making sure that the rest of the family stayed true to their role as a prominent Western District family.
Edwina has other ideas. She no longer wishes to live with the shackles of the past where her life was controlled by her father and husband. So when life gives her a second chance at happiness, she grabs it.
While her younger two daughters calmly accept their mother’s choices, it is Harriet who finds it difficult to come to terms with her mother’s decisions and revelations, as well as those of her own daughter, Charlotte. She also has to deal with a scandal that brings to an end the perfect and settled nature of her life. I did feel sorry for Harriet struggling to cope with what was happening around her, but it took this upheaval for her to reassess her life and the people in it.
This book was a thought provoking look at family relationships, especially those between mothers and daughters, and how people deal with personal traumas in their lives. I particularly enjoyed how the revelation of a fifty year old secret changed the Chirnwell sisters' perceptions of the mother they thought they knew.
Despite the slow start, this book was a wonderful read and I'm happy to recommend it.
Thank you to Harlequin Australia via NetGalley for an e-copy of this book to read and review.
Such a rich, compelling read. I particularly loved the Australian setting and the intertwined lives of the three sisters. The mother was a great character with real depth . This book had humour and pathos and real humanity. Nobody's life is perfect and this book does a wonderful job of showing how people react differently to tough situations. A really great read that kept me enthralled right to the end.
Another amazing read by Fiona, it's a book that you shouldn't start when you have to get up early for work in the morning, you will spend the day bleary eyed and yawning constantly. Very hard to put down, I loved it!