Quentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can’t afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can’t afford to go on living in London; instead, they must downsize and move their three children to a house in a remote part of Devon.
Arrogant and adulterous, Quentin can’t understand why Lottie is so angry; devastated and humiliated, Lottie feels herself to have been intolerably wounded. Mud, mice and quarrels are one thing – but why is their rent so low? What is the mystery surrounding their unappealing new home?
The beauty of the landscape is ravishing, yet it conceals a dark side involving poverty, revenge, abuse and violence which will rise up to threaten them…
At the end of their year, the lives of all will be changed for ever. A suspenseful black comedy, this is a rich, compassionate and enthralling novel in its depiction of the English countryside, and the potentially lethal interplay between money and marriage.
‘Wise, warm, compassionate and full of characters I loved … it’s like having a great gossip with your best friends’ – Marian Keyes
A family gathering, a moment of celebration, a time to come together – and fall apart… Recently married Bess should be blissfully happy, but as she plans a party for her husband, the cracks are beginning to show. Jojo, Bess’s stepdaughter, has a point to make: Bess has swept into her father’s life but she won’t ever replace Jojo’s late beloved mother. Cousin Cari is a strong career-woman who isn’t unnerved by anything – apart from facing the man who left her at the altar – and he’s on the guest list. As the party brings them all together, can the Brannigans discover the secrets of a happy marriage before it is too late?
Secrets in a family are like moths in cashmere…They dig themselves in and eat their way out… Freya is a genealogist, but has never paid as much attention to her own family. When her marriage starts to collapse and her grown-up daughters seem more distant than ever, Freya’s reckless abandon startles everyone, and long-hidden secrets begin to emerge.
Life in the Cornish village of Pendruggan isn’t always picture perfect. Penny Leighton has never told anyone why she’s estranged from her mother and sister. For years she’s kept her family secrets locked away in her heart, but they’ve been quietly eating away at her.
When an unwelcome visitor blows in, Penny is brought face to face with the past. And a postcard, tucked away in a long-hidden case, holds the truth that could change everything.
Young Ella has come back to the place where she spent a happy childhood with her grandmother. Now she’s here to search for everything missing in her life. Taken under Penny’s broken wing for the summer, the safe haven of Pendruggan feels like the place for a fresh start. Soon, however, Ella starts to wonder if perhaps her real legacy doesn’t lie in the past at all.
Anna thought her marriage to Max would last forever. Having raised two happy children together, she looked forward to growing old with the man she loved. But when a revelation from her husband just before their wedding anniversary shakes her entire world, she’s left uncertain of what the future holds. Needing time to herself, Anna takes up an offer from her widowed father to spend the summer on the small Aegean island of his birth, unaware that a chance discovery of letters in her aunt’s house will unleash a host of family secrets. Kept hidden for sixty years, they reveal a tumultuous family history, beginning in Greece at the beginning of the twentieth century and ending in Naples at the close of the Second World War. Confronted by their family’s long-buried truths, both father and daughter are shaken by the discovery and Anna begins to realize that if she is to ever heal the present, she must first understand the past . . .
All the cakes are homemade , the descriptions of which make you want to drool! They sound delicious. There’s a recipe for ‘Totally Gooey Triple Choc Brownies’ at the end of the book, I have taken a note of it!
The story moves along very well, characters well written and interact well with each other. The story includes sibling rivalry, a hunky love interest, tragedy, despair and much more.
Watch out for the handbell ringing!
Try this tale of a family with long hidden secrets, you’ll enjoy it.
Must get my next Carole Matthews fix from the library.
Reserve The Cake Shop in the Garden
“Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things…”
Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, thirty-one year old translator who works from home in her one bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a very long time ago, when she was fifteen years old and tragedy struck her family. Her grief has left her scared of commitment and completely risk averse, so she plays it safe and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things. One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a random passer-by, Ben, luckily happens to spot and rescue her. Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?
A wonderfully powerful novel that centres on a teenage girl and her relationship with alcohol. The girl’s wider relationships with her family, her experiences of sex and her feelings of bereavement make for a truly moving, funny and heart-breaking book. Highly recommended.
Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t? Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five-year-old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend. But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her.
Home is where the heart is, and Kate thinks a lot about making people feel at home. She works for a global hotel corporation. She has two young children, and a husband of ten years. Now, both Kate’s home and her heart are about to implode: she has discovered a series of emails from her husband Adam to another woman. Probing for answers, she realizes this not the worst possible discovery – in fact, it is only the beginning. As her family unravels, Kate’s job becomes increasingly demanding – but how can she provide the perfect guest experience when her own foundations have been knocked away? She tries to hold things together for her daughters, but doesn’t know what to tell them when they ask when Adam is coming home. Who was the man with whom Kate built a life? And what is he to her now?
I loved Shappi Khorsandi’s memoir, A beginner’s guide to acting English so much that I can’t wait to read her first novel:
Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t? Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend. But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her. A dark, funny – sometimes shocking – coming of age novel from one of the UK’s leading comedians.