This isn’t one of my usual books that I tend to read and it took me until well after half way through to really get my bearings and get a grip of who was who and what was what.
The first thing I took from this book was the troubled family dynamics. A family has drifted apart from each other and gotten in too deep in their new lives that they now cannot leave and just walk away. The characters are complex and exciting and once I got the hang of the book after about 50% I started to enjoy their stories.
David Winter has made a lifelong career out of illustrating Wilbur the Dog. A family pet that transformed their lives and enabled them to live comfortably and rear his children. Martha is the life and soul of the house and the family. She is the one that over the years has kept everything together and even sacrificed her own career in order to support her husband. She is a strong and independent lady who befriends everyone she meets.
Billy their son is a doctor and married to Karen. Their relationship, however, is in trouble and they give the impression they no longer love each other but stay together for convenience. Florence, is a history of art professor who lives in Florence. Quirky, weird and slightly eccentric, her obsession with a colleague has kept her there in Italy all her life despite her feeling like she has overstayed her welcome.
Daisy then is the prodigal child, and is where most of the mystery in the novel is focused. She has been renowned but bully tactics and alienating her whole family. She also upped and left her own Daughter Cat when she was only one month old, leaving her with Martha and David who treated her as their own. Throughout the book it refers to Daisy as being in India but through the twists and turns the truth is much more tragic than that.
An unexpected invitation landed on each of their doorsteps which will inevitably change the course of their lives forever. Martha is determined to reveal family secrets and once and for all get the family back to how it once was.
This book is very well written in terms of style and attention to detail however it was for too dome and gloom for me to enjoy but this is a very personal choice. As I said, it took me until well after half way through to truly get my head around the contents of the book. The characters, once I got in the know about who they were turned out very believable with likeable traits despite the tragedy and hard times they had encountered.
I will look forward to part 2 to see where the build up of intrigue leads. I give this book 3 stars.