The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.
The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside.
The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm.
Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems.
After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret.
But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?
Welcome to ‘Winterfold’.
Martha Winter’s family is finally coming home.
Although series are very popular, I’m not sure the format is ideal for this story. Women’s fiction serials are not a new concept. They were popular in women’s magazines in the late sixties and seventies. Magazine serials had a week’s gap between instalments. These stories have approximately a month. Many readers will struggle to remember where they are in the story with any clarity especially since it ends before any notable action takes place.
Martha sends her widely scattered family a cryptic invitation to her eightieth birthday party. The multi points of view give the reader important insight into each character’s conflicts and emotions. The disparity between the family’s public persona and the reality of lies and secrets makes interesting reading. Not only do they hide the truth from outsiders they also keep secrets from each other.
The characters are well written; full of flaws, which make them memorable. In most cases the characters have at least one or two redeeming features. The ethos of this story is essentially sad. Most of the characters regret their major life choices and wish they’d chosen differently. Martha wonders if the decision to buy ‘Winterfold’ and all that it entailed was worth the sacrifices.
Slow paced and lacking in action; part 1 introduces the characters, the reason for their reunion and its possible consequences. I am interested to see what happens next.