The Holiday Home – Fern Britton

Two sisters are together for their holiday in a house that they have grown up in and been used to, their parents bought it years previously despite its history. They have many memories from the place.  there. But the memories are different for both of them.

Pru the more dynamic and driven one as is reflected in her choice of career and rather brow beaten husband. Constance is much more easy going and laid back, loving her life and her husband and daughter. But sibling rivalry was strong when they were young has it changed now that they are adults?

With their husbands and children in tow, you would think that perhaps time has mellowed them. But the childish and petty niggles are still an undercurrent in their relationship. Into that mix are added, teenage friendships and loves which seem to be affecting all members of the family. Then there is the past. It has a terrible habit of washing up on your doorstep when you are least expecting it. And this holiday home set so near the sea in Cornwall it is going to have a dramatic affect. It is not just the changing scenery and weather that makes this a stormy book, the characters are right in the mix of everything.

Jealousy, lost loves, breaking away from your parents, hiding secrets, parties, death and births. This book has it all. I was hooked and whilst I expected some of the outcomes, many were a surprise. I was drawn into disliking Pru and wanting to give her a good slap along with her husband. In contrast the sister’s mother and father seemed to be complete opposites and fuelled the warring relationship between the sisters and did nothing to sort it out. That did not seem right to me. Tragedy brought them all together, but I still think that no matter what happened once I had finished the last page of the book they would continue to goad each other and never be truly happy. It made me a bit sad.

When a ‘celeb’ writes novels, normally after they have written their ‘story’ it is with some scepticism that readers and reviewers alike embrace them. I have read Fern’s first novel and was suitable impressed although she had clearly drawn on her own experiences in the media for it. This book was completely different, you can see she has had to work hard at it, to get it to be a page turner. It would make a great holiday read but it should not be criticised for that, we all need a bit of down time even when reading and this book would be ideal.

This is in fact Fern Britton’s third novel. Her first New Beginnings I have reviewed and have her second Hidden Treasures on the shelf waiting. Her fourth novel is scheduled for release in 2014.