Published: 15th January 2015
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.
Thank you to Headline for kindly sending me a review copy. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’ve already read and reviewed Part One so it was nice to reread and recap.
In the first part of the book, Martha is planning her 80th birthday party where there will be an announcement at the family meal. Not only do we hear from Martha, but we hear from family members and fellow villagers.
“She had no idea what the future after this might hold.”
You’re given a real taste of the Winter family as we hear from majority of them. At the end of Part One, a big family secret is revealed but only between Martha and the readers. It’s an unbelievable hidden truth which has the ability to ruin the entire family, will it? Only the next three parts will tell.
Part Two begins with Daisy during August 1973 (a flashback) and she is moaning about how much her family don’t care about the dog’s death. I really liked how Harriet captured the imagination of an eleven year old. Daisy’s continual past chapters reveal quite a lot about how she was as a child. I particularly thought her January 1983 point of view told the readers a lot more about how her confidence ruined her and “taught her a lesson.”
“That’s when I realised were told the secret which had been hidden for years.”
The end of Part Two came rather quickly, too quickly for my liking. I didn’t have to process what was happening after everyone was at the dinner table. One minute, the action was flowing and then it just stopped. Part Three opens with flashbacks from both Martha and David; of how she imagined they would die and how life has changed. The descriptions remained strong but sometimes, it did lose me a little. I was itching to know what was going to happen in the final part though.
I thought Part Four, the ending, would have revealed more. I expected Martha’s family to react to the secret differently – all it seemed to be was a few shouts and then it was as if everything had been forgotten and forgiven.
Overall, I felt like there was a big hole in the plot and that it was missing a more appropriate ending. I really liked how Harriet draws her readers in and she reveals things at the right time. Her writing is spot on and really does have the power to draw you in.