The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.
When Martha, a wife and mother of three, sits down one late summer’s morning to write out the invitations to her eightieth birthday celebration, she knows that what she is planning to reveal at the party could ruin the idyllic life she and her husband David have spent over fifty years building…
But she has to let her family know what she and David have sacrificed. She can’t live a lie any more.
The invitation goes out far and wide, calling her three children and their families back home to Winterfold, their rambling house in the heart of the English countryside. They are Bill, the doctor; Florence, the eccentric academic; and Daisy, the child who never fit in. As the story unfolds, each character reveals the secrets, joys, and tragedies they are wrestling with through the confines of the family. What will happen when Martha finally tells the truth?
Review: in terms of length and depth, this read was epic. It was also enjoyable, although it did take a while to get through. I originally read this book as part one and part two but then i decided to sit down and read it from start to finish when it was released as a whole book. I found that I couldn't remember exactly what had happened with each individual part so I'm glad I did this and glad I started back at the beginning again! Just a bit of advice if you are planning on picking this one up!
I loved the fact that this was told through various different characters, i love reading books that are structured that way! It was interesting, as well, to have these characters be different ages and different genders. I really liked hearing from Joe's point of view because he was outside of the Winter family and so it was good to have his perspective on everything that was going on inside of The Winter family.
In terms of plot, this book really does give you everything, there's romance, deceit, a LOT of family secrets, break downs, break ups, death, mystery but overall, the general theme of this book is family and what that means, how it can affect us and how it can be such a positive thing when all is said and done. The fact that this book covers so much meant that, although it was long, there was always something new coming up. The multi-perspective chapter structure also helped this but literally not knowing what was going to be around the next corner in the story really was the best thing about this book.
In terms of setting, we have the family home in rural setting, we have a little bit of Florence, a little bit of Paris and just a touch of London. I really liked this as well and it helped separate out the main characters more (until they all came together in the family home of course!) I would recommend this book if you have got the time to give to it because it is definitely worth sitting down and reading cover to cover on a weekend or a holiday. I also listened to this on audiobook and that was a really good listening experience too!