The Children

By Ann Leary

4 out of 5 stars

Charlotte Maynard lives in the lake house that she has grown up in. It’s the family home of her late stepfather. She doesn’t like to leave the house and spends her time writing a blog about her “family” and motherhood. The only thing is she doesn’t have a family or any children. Charlotte has also had a long-time relationship with Everett, who lives on the grounds as some kind of groundskeeper. She lives with her mother Joan, a rather self-involved, flighty character. Joan doesn’t own the home, her two stepsons do but she has been left to live in the house for as long as she chooses. Joan met their father Whit, while he was still married to his first wife, their mother. Well, one of them was born, the other came when Joan was seeing Whit. They seemed to live harmoniously but the truth has a way of coming out. When Spin arrives with his fiancee Laurel, the s*** hits the fan. Many secrets are revealed and many things are not what they seem.

Ann Leary has such a great way with writing these quirky and complex characters. I was rooting for Charlotte and disliking Laurel when in all actuality, they were not that different. It’s the subtlety in the writing that plays with your feelings. A family is never as simple as it seems. When things start to turn, you are slowly brought into each person’s secret emotions. Charlotte and her sister see the family one way. Spin and Perry see it another way. And their whole dynamic is written perfectly. The backdrop for the story is perfect too. This old New England lake house with it’s secret corners and worn-in welcome. I want to go sit by the lake on the 4th of July! Another great read from Ann Leary. You will never be disappointed when you pick up one of her books.

I received a copy of this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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