Writing: 4/5 Plot: 3.5/5 Characters: 4.5/5
A family drama focussed on three siblings and their families on the first Christmas after their mother’s death. Each is experiencing some disappointment / pressure in life and each twirls within their own constant inner monologue while engaging with each other in a kind of complex dance with needs, desires, and irritations constantly up for rebalancing. Martin, the eldest, is on temporary leave after having made some ill-advised statements to the wrong people at his educational institution; his wife Tess is the practical one, a lawyer who is in a constant state of worry and irritation; Kate is a housewife and mother, married to Josh who has managed to run through the inheritance they were living on; Henry is an artist obsessed with the climate, and his wife Alice somehow shifted from artist to social worker and now finds herself over-attached to one of her charges. When that particular charge disappears on Christmas Eve, each individual gets a jolt that drives him or her to a deeper understanding of his or her own life.
While slow at times, the book contains a lot of insight through each person’s reflections coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and situations. An enjoyable read.
Thank you to Mariner Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on November 8th, 2022.