Saturday, 21 January 2017

Review: What Makes a Family by Colleen Faulkner

Nestled in the Chesapeake Bay, Brodie Island is charming, remote, and slow to change. For three hundred years, Abby Brodie s farming family has prospered there. Now, years after leaving to make her way on her own terms, Abby is coming home to see her ailing grandmother, with her teenage daughter and a wealth of memories in tow. Yet as family members gather at the old farmhouse, Abby realizes this visit offers more than a chance to say goodbye.
After decades of feeling she was a disappointment as a daughter, Abby is beginning to see that her mother, too, has struggled to feel a sense of belonging within the Brodie family. Celeste, Abby s self-centered sister, is far from the successful actress she pretends to be, and needs help that only Abby and their half-brother, Joseph, can give. But most surprising of all is the secret that Grandmother Brodie has been carrying one that will make each woman question her identity and the sacrifices she is willing to make to gain acceptance.
With her trademark emotional honesty and insight, Colleen Faulkner lays bare the challenges at the heart of a family learning how to forgive, connect, and let ourselves be truly known at last.

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!  The expected publication date is January 31st, 2017.

This is the story of what happens when a dysfunctional family gathers together while the matriarch is on her deathbed.  Told from the view of each of the woman, you get a different perspective and take on the family dynamic.  It is not surprising that each woman does not see things the same as the next.

While the story was a little slow at times, I was hooked by the story of mom Brodie and her secret.  As this story came to light, I kept looking forward until the story would switch to her point of view so that I could see how all of the pieces tied together.  Compared to her story, the others were not remotely as interesting.

As in most stories, there is also the person to dislike and in this case it was Celeste.  Talk about a train wreck however I will divulge only what the synopsis says.  No spoilers in this review!  I also had a hard time identifying and liking little Joe due to the actions of his past.  Perhaps my judgemental side coming out but I couldn't help it.  Again you would have to read to find out why.

At the end of the day this story is about the family dynamic and how everyone struggles to fit in and find their place within the family.  It is about identity and the struggle between who you want to be and who you really are.  Fans of womans fiction may enjoy this family struggle.

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