Review published on May 7, 2017.
Fern is the head of her chaotic, perfectly imperfect family. With a husband, two kids, a big dog and a slightly dilapidated but charming home, she juggles family life with running her own business. Stressful, no? It’s a good job she loves them all dearly.
Every midsummer, the family gather together for a celebratory meal and we start the book here. What follows charts the ups and downs of the family over the course of a year, but will Fern’s marriage survive? There are certainly plenty of obstacles on the horizon! This is an easy and entertaining read, with some genuinely laugh out loud moments. I’m sure many readers will recognise themselves or others in the cast of characters and family dynamics. Fern is the heart of the book; frazzled, selfless and shattered, as she tries to keep her family together. With a teenager about to become a father and an eight-year-old feminist daughter, perhaps the most trouble comes from elderly aunt Nora, who comes to stay after a health scare. And let’s not forget about husband Adam, who’s convinced he can resurrect his failed pop career.
This is not a book for reading groups, but when you need a break from those taxing, hard to fathom novels that have neither a beginning nor an end, this is the perfect frothy anecdote.
Vicky Jopling 4/1
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Pan 9781509831289 pbk Apr 2017
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