A (very) brief plot overview
The book describes the Davies family after the death of the head of the family, Frank. Louise, his daughter, Susan, his younger wife, and Karen, Frank and Susan’s daughter, try to find common ground after years of being at odds.
What’s good about it?
On paper, the storyline of a family falling apart and coming back together should be good. It had all the promise of being a really good story about human connection. I also liked that each chapter was from the perspectives of the three women so that you could get an insight into their attitudes and reactions.
What’s not so good?
It’s hard to know where to start because there were so many things about this book that I struggled with. I don’t want to be too negative but there wasn’t a single likeable or believable character, the dialogue was unnatural and like something out of and Enid Blyton novel and the storyline so predictable that I wanted to close the book after the first three chapters.
The biggest thing I struggled with was the characters because the character arcs were just improbable. People acted one way throughout the entirety of the book then in the last few chapters turned into completely different people. There was no blending in of this transformation, just a total U-Turn simply because the book was coming to an end. It was almost like ‘quick – you’ve nearly reached your word limit, finish it!’ Simon, the most archaic character I have ever encountered in a book, spoke to Karen like she was a voiceless slave from page one and then at the end suddenly accepted Karen’s working ambitions and need to be her own person. Louise was a delusional, self righteous and selfish character who you didn’t really feel deserved the picture perfect ending, but then came the the part where she found out that she had apparently forgot years of her life and overnight transformed herself into a wholesome, nice person with a glittering career, fiancé and fabulous life. It just wasn’t believable or written with any sense of reality to it. By the end, I felt like I had whiplash from all the sharp turns the storyline had gone through to try create a ‘happy’ ending.
Rate me: 2/10. I just couldn’t read it – I skimmed through it to find out the ending, but even that was for the purpose of this review.