Author: Claire Fuller
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Tin House
Publication Date: May 18, 20201
Book Description: From the author of Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, and Bitter Orange comes a brilliant novel about an unusual family held together by a string of lies, a small town with too many questions, and a sudden death that threatens to undo them all.
At fifty-one years old, twins Jeanie and Julius still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation in the English countryside. The cottage they have shared their entire lives is their only protection against the modernizing world around them. Inside its walls, they make music, and in its garden, they grow everything they need to survive. To an outsider, it looks like poverty; to them, it is home.
But when Dot dies unexpectedly, the world they’ve so carefully created begins to fall apart. The cottage they love, and the security it offered, is taken back by their landlord, exposing the twins to harsh truths and even harsher realities. Seeing a new future, Julius becomes torn between the loyalty he feels towards his sister and his desire for independence, while Jeanie struggles to find work and a home for them both. And just when it seems there might be a way forward, a series of startling secrets from their mother’s past come to the surface, forcing the twins to question who they are, and everything they know of their family’s history.
In this stunning novel, award-winning author Claire Fuller masterfully builds a tale of sacrifice and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized and remarkable people uncover long-held family secrets and, in their own way, repair, recover, and begin again.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Like the title this book, this was one of the most unsettling books I have ever read. Claire Fuller writes a story that makes us all realize we are never to far away from being pushed over the edge.
Julius and Jeanie are 51 years old twins, who still live with their mother. When the story opens, they find their mother dead of a stroke. What unravels for these two people is so shattering to the protective bubble their mom has created.
When the news is out about Dot’s death, long kept secrets are unfurled that threaten the life that Julius and Jeanie lives. It is not much of a life, but everything the believed, appears to be a lie, and everybody in this small town knows but them.
The writing was so beautiful and I was taken in almost immediately by this story. The way this story reveals itself is perfection. This is a book I will not long forget. While it is troublesome to read, it is well worth the time.
Thank you NetGalley and Tin House for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.