Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: A Place for Us – Part 4 – Harriet Evans

  I have finished the first of the books  I featured in yesterday’s post.

Here’s my review of A Place for Us – Part 4- Harriet Evans.

23487063 UntitledThe 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.

Buy Links 1Amazon UK

My Review 2

A Place for Us Part 4
This is the perfect ending, to what has turned out to be a wonderful story, full of pain and joy, lies and deceit, the stuff of most real families, if we are honest. ‘A Place for Us’ part four, is poignant but the sadness of the earlier episodes is replaced by acceptance and hope. Martha and her family come to terms with their loss. Through this acceptance, Martha finds her true self, as she strives to reunite her remaining family.

The characters develop in a pleasing way and the younger family members are set to carry on the legacy, with more transparency than their grandparents. The epilogue is the key to the whole story. It explains why the house was so important to David and why Martha wanted to maintain the illusion of the perfect family.

This is a recommended read, from me. It does work as a serial because the characters are memorable but will also be a compelling novel.

I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My review of A Place for Us Part 1

My review of a Place for Us Part 2

My review of a Place for Us Part 3

A Place for Us Part 4 by Harriet Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Place for Us Part 4 by Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: A Place For Us -Part 3 – Harriet Evans

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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 

Buy Links -2Amazon UK

My Review
A Place For Us Part 3I wondered if part 3 of ‘A Place For Us’ would be an anti-climax after the drama of part 2 but it isn’t.
After Martha’s terrible revelation, life returns to fractured normality for those who remain. Another traumatic event for Martha leaves her doubting the validity of her life work, creating a safe haven for her family.
Flash backs to David’s teenage are harrowing and solve the mystery surrounding Florence and why he avoids contact with his earlier life. This part of David’s story is poignant and appalling. Be prepared for tears, such is the reader’s empathy with David at this point in his life. It also illuminates his later behaviour and why Martha condones it.
Florence discovers her own shocking revelation, which estranges her from Martha and Bill. Only Lucy provides the impetus for the family to survive the tsunami of grief that engulfs it. The ethos of this part of the story is dark but at the end thanks to Lucy, Martha sees a more positive way forward.
Part 3 reveals deep secrets with sensitivity and sets the scene for the last act, which I can’t wait to read.
I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My review of A Place for Us Part 1

My review of a Place for Us Part 2

A Place For Us Part 3 by Harriet Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Place For Us Part 3 by Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: A Place for Us – Part 2 – Harriet Evans

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This is the second part of the serialization of A Place for Us … Check out my review of part 1 here

 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

My Review

 

A Place For Us Part 2The second part of the serialization of ‘A Place for Us’ starts historically with Daisy the middle child and the crux of the mystery that shrouds the family. It’s clear from the outset that Daisy is different from her other siblings Bill and Flo. She feels everything more acutely and reacts often violently, even if it is only in her mind. The deterioration of Daisy’s mental health in her childhood and teenage is ignored by her parents Martha and David. This leaves Daisy exposed to addiction and manipulation once she leaves the cloistered family home.

Flo’s decision to fight for her career mitigates the melancholy feel of the opening chapter. There is more positivity about Flo in this part of the book. A contrast to the sadness you feel about Daisy. Cat temporarily escapes her unhappy life but will she have the courage to stay? Bill and Karen’s secret becomes public knowledge at Martha’s birthday cocktail party but it is over shadowed by Martha’s terrible secret revealed at her family birthday meal.

This part of the book is poignant and Daisy and Martha’s points of view are particularly heartrending. Cat’s homecoming, the cocktail party and the birthday meal are beautifully realistic and atmospheric. You can hear the silence and feel the discomfort of the family as their matriarch tears the family apart.

The pacing and character development of the first part of the book comes good because you know how the characters feel and react and it makes the reading experience more enjoyable. I am definitely hooked by the characters and setting and looking forward to part 3.

I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

A Place For Us Part 2 by Harriet Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Place For Us Part 2 by Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans

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My 4* Review of A Place for Us Part 1

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: A Place For Us – Harriet Evans

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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.

My Review

A Place For Us  Part 1Although 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.

I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

A Place For Us Part 1 by Harriet Evans

A Place For Us  Part 1 by Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans

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