This book begins in a fancy restaurant on Maisie’s 80th birthday. She is joined by her younger man Skipper, disapproving daughter Liz and her indifferent husband Clayton. Also in the mix are her artist granddaughter Ashley and her grandson Ivy and partner James.
This is a very dysfunctional family, and they bicker and gripe at each other throughout the meal. I was looking forward to a really interesting read as I found out more about the dynamics of this odd assortment of characters…
I could not have been more disappointed! The chapters are narrated by different characters, which I liked as it gave different points of view. But the whole book went nowhere for me and the characters were completely implausible. Ashley began as quite a headstrong and independent young woman but within a few pages had turned into something from an awful chick-lit novel.
I also found Liz a really unbelievable character. She was truly nasty at some points (we found out that she had sent her son Ivy to a camp to be cured of his homosexuality as soon as he came out), yet she also ran a charity to help victims of domestic abuse. Her character just didn’t tally for me at all.
It is also Liz’s work that is the cause of another problem for me. It became clear that the author wanted to make some points in this book about domestic abuse. As a result, much of the book seemed contrived and the scenes towards the end were virtually unreadable. Frankly, I couldn’t wait for this book to end – nothing about it worked for me. The plot goes nowhere, the characters are ridiculous and I’m just glad it’s over!
Rating: 3 out of 10