After Frank drops down dead in Heathrow Arrivals on Christmas Eve, his estranged daughter Jem is called in to identify the body. When Jem travels back to Frank’s house in France – a house she hasn’t been in since she was a child – she realises that Frank had a son too.
Frank has died of a congenital heart defect, a defect he may have passed on to his daughter – or on to his son. Jem must warn her brother, but in finding herself a family she risks ripping another apart.
I received a copy of this book from John Murray Press via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This book has a great opening, it really catches your attention, and makes you feel sympathy for Frank who dies so painfully and abruptly. What follows reveals Frank as a destructive man who cared for no-one, and whose thoughtless actions had far-reaching effects on those he came into contact with.
The plot is not remarkable, although it is good, it’s the characters, the pertinent observations of what motivates people to react in certain ways, and most importantly how families work in a contemporary society that resonates with this story.
All the characters are authentically flawed and most are not particularly likeable, but they are understandable. Even though the family dynamics are magnified, the interactions between mother and son, father and daughter and husband and wife are recognisable.
The pacing suits this type of book and the characters and settings are full of vivid imagery, which makes this an easy but definitely intriguing read.