Published by Berkley Books on October 17th 2017
A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays...
It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter--who is usually off saving the world--will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family.
For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity--and even decent Wi-Fi--and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.
As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.
In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive...
Before beginning my review I have to quickly thank Berkley/Penguin Random House for providing me a eARC of the book so that I could review it.
This is a debut novel and one that I really enjoyed reading. It was a pretty quick fun read.
The first thing that sucked me into the book was the synopsis. We can all imagine what it would be like to be stuck with your family during the holidays but image if you were quarantined and you literally had no place to go because you had to stay inside? No one could come in.
I think I would be somewhat okay but I am sure I would crack at the seams eventually. So I have my fingers crossed I am never in that situation but at least I would have my books to read right?
The main character is Olivia and she is a doctor who will be coming home for Christmas after several years of being away. Now Olivia was in a highly infected area that is dealing with the haag virus. Its a deadly virus that has taken many lives. They have many strict rules while they were there and needless to say you know that Olivia managed to break those rules by having a relationship with another dr there.
Olivia’s sister Phoebe still lives at home and you can tell they don’t have the best relationship so having Olivia there puts a kink in her plans. She is newly engaged and in the midst of planning her wedding so being quarantined puts a major kink in her plans.
Another twist is Olivia’s mother. She hasn’t been feeling well and the news isn’t good but she is determined not to say anything to the family because she wants to enjoy this Christmas with the girls because she doesn’t know when it will happen again.
This was such a great read and like I said earlier I really enjoyed it. There is so much more to the book and I think this was a fantastic debut novel. It just goes to show not everyone is perfect and that everyone has secrets no matter how big or small they are. Things like that can only bring a family together or tear them a part.