Claire returns to her childhood home in Alloa, Scotland where her step father, Leo has grown rather frail and he may well be in the first stages of dementia. Claire is concerned for him but her step brother and sister seem more concerned with the money that their father has accumulated and the value of the house where he lives.
Claire is taken back to her childhood when she has to fight her fear of meeting a childhood friend Jonas Fairweather who broke her trust when he said he wanted nothing more to do with when she turned eighteen. Claire thinks she has got over this heart break, but has Jonas. Now he needs for her to believe him once again as they did as friends and confront some rather unpleasant consequences of others actions.
The story jumps around quite a lot, not just with setting, New York, West Sussex and Scotland but also backwards in the time setting, when Claire was 11, then as 18 and now in the present. This does take some getting used to and I was slightly lost a time and had to go back and find out what year we were in. Aside from this I would say this book is just a story and it ambles along fairly predictably. There was no excitement and no feelings of “I must keep reading to find out what happens”.
This book could be pitched as a family saga, but not quite up there as probably his mothers (Rosamund Pilcher) work where they tend to be a bit meatier and with more depth. This is like the middle size version. Perfect for a bit of escapism but not really anything that you will be able to really get your teeth into and feel that you are with the family in every part of their saga.
I was disappointed with this book, and my description of it just telling a story is the only way I could describe it. It evoked no thoughts and feelings in me whilst I was reading it or after I had finished it. Is this a good or a bad thing?
What do you think of the cover of this book? I always hope that the cover gives us an insight into what is between the pages. Is this the house that Claire lived with her mother, stepfather and his children?
The road immediately became a gravel driveway…it all went rather dark and gloomy because they were enclosed by rhododendron bushes that grew out so far that they nearly touched the sides of the car…the lawns…a huge beech tree grew in the centre of each…once clear of the trees…the sloping glass roofs of the greenhouses away over to her left…and on the far side of this stood the house, a vast stone-built rectangular building with a mass of chimney pots…wide stone steps, narrowing as they rose, led up to a central front door.
My picture I had created in my imagination from these words is certainly not what was depicted on the front of this book. Perhaps sometimes the words create far better pictures than book covers can ever do.