The prospect of a week cooped up together at Weyfield Hall over the Christmas period garners a mixture of reactions from the Birch family. Emma is thrilled that they will all be together, Andrew less so as he has an inkling an indiscretion from the past is about to make an appearance. Olivia, the reluctantly present eldest daughter is the cause for the enforced quarantine, having returned from treating an Ebola-like epidemic in Africa. Younger sister Phoebe is recently engaged to the toffish George and will be deprived of his company. Let the fun begin!
With its potent mix of expectations, resentments and secrets galore, this is a warm and thoughtful set piece with impressive character development and comedic timing.
Most enjoyed this book and enjoyed the writing style.
Mixed reaction - some enjoyed while others found it contrived. But it did provoke much discussion about family dynamics in general.
We had a lengthy discussion about each character .We felt the story flowed well but some thought that so many coincidences made it all a bit crazy. Most enjoyed it as a light read .
This book caused a lot of discussion especially as it was published before the pandemic - we all agreed we were more knowledgeable about isolation, lockdowns and the changes of human dynamics that can occur. We all enjoyed it and felt that the characters, although somewhat flawed, were in fact quite an accurate portrayal of humanity.
We all enjoyed this book - the fast pace, the multiple perspectives from differing points of view, and the insight into family issues and dynamics.
An easy light read. One person did not enjoy it - she did not like the characters. There was a feeling in the group also, that there were several coincidental meetings that seemed unlikely.
A readable story with several unexpected twists. Each character was interesting. The end was not predictable.
Straightforward, easy read which we all enjoyed. A variety of challenging topics covered in the story. We all had a flash of recognition when Emma, the mother, dealt with an awkward social situation with extreme good manners. Very English.
An easy read, coincidentally read about their week of isolation while we were in Lockdown. Some unbelievable coincidences. Discussion promoted lots of laughs!
All members enjoyed the book. Very topical! Amazing how many issues the family had. We solved most of them.
We all enjoyed this book, and although a bit of a slow start, couldn't put it down towards the end. A light, easy read - great for the beach or on holiday.
Although we initially thought this book to be very 'chick-lit', we actually found that we talked more about our sibling relationships than ever before.
All the group enjoyed the book. The characterisation was convincing, and the setting/situation believable. The family dynamics were evoked thoughtfully.
Predictable but harmless family dynamics. Interesting take on the idea of isolation and quarantine.
Most of us enjoyed the book. A rather light read.
A well liked read - quite relevant for the times we live in!
We liked the book except for one who thought it went on and on. It was a quick and easy read, we thought it would make a good movie. After our own lockdown, we could identify with the characters. A good first novel for the author.
Generated good discussion. We enjoyed the short paragraphs! Easy read but had a good message.
Everyone enjoyed this book, but agreed that some characters were very cliched. Discussion was lively as members related their family stories, memories and relationships. The lack of communication was seen as the major problem with the Birch family, and that keeping secrets is likely to create major issues, and lack of trust when they become known.
Great story which could have done with more character and plot detail. Felt a bit light-weight.
Easy and very entertaining read. Most loved it. Some good discussion came out. Thanks.
Easy read. Very relevant to today's situation. This was the second book we have read in 4 months on pandemics. We wonder if our 'picker' knew something!
Perfect timing and a good read!