|Publisher:||Center Point Pub|
|Edition description:||Large Print|
|Product dimensions:||5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Ann Leary is the author of the memoir An Innocent, a Broad and three novels, including the bestseller The Good House and her newest book The Children. Her novels often center around the revelation of secrets. Leary has also written stories and essays for The New York Times, Ploughshares, and NPR’s "You Must Read This," among other places. She lives with her husband, the actor and comedian Denis Leary, and two children in northwestern Connecticut.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A lovely, wonderful exploration into the human psyche, this beautifully crafted novel is crammed with marvelous and unique characters who'll now inhabit my memories always. I couldn't put the book down! Thank you for an entertaining, thought-provoking and fulfilling read.
The Children, Ann Leary, author; Gretchen Mol, narrator Joan Maynard and Richard (Whit) Whitman were married shortly after he met her and was smitten with her. She was the mother of two daughters and he was the father of two sons. However, unlike Joan, he was still married to his wife, Marissa. Still, he divorced her and married Joan. The family seemed to blend very well and most of the children got along thinking of each other as one family, not two that had come together through divorce. Joan and her girls were not aware of any resentment on the part of Whit’s sons except for Phillip who was always ornery and complaining. Still, they enjoyed the home in Conneticuit and had come together in their family home on the lake in New England to plan the wedding of Phillip (Spin), to Laurel in late summer. During the few days that the family blends once more in their family, secrets and animosities long held are revealed and cracks in their relationship open. Each of the siblings has some kind of an issue. Spin Whitman, newly engaged, is overly influenced by his sweetheart, Laurel, and is no longer the gentle agreeable, rather thrifty brother he once was. Laurel Atwood is well liked at first, but then becomes an enigma creating tension with some family members who doubt her, while others doubt the questions that are being raised about her. She doesn’t seem to be the person she pretends to be, and revelations about her will have tragic consequences. Charlotte Maynard (Lottie) is a successful blogger under an assumed name, Susan, but her career is a secret to her family and friends. On her blog, she is not the person she pretends to be. She is supposedly the mother of two children, well-loved, but some with health problems. She writes about the problems that come with motherhood, good, bad, joyful and sad, but she is not either a wife or a mother. Her sister Sally Maynard is a concert violinist and composer who has emotional problems and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her mood swings are carefully watched by the family members. Charlotte and Sally are only 14 months apart, and they are very close. Washington Fuentes is a police officer who has been sent to their area to investigate the home invasions that have been occurring. Mr. Clean is an unknown man who breaks into homes, cleans up and leaves, taking nothing with him. He, also, has another identity. Sally connects with him. He makes her feel relaxed since he knows none of the family’s baggage, and she does not have to pretend to be anything other than who she is in the moment. Everett Hastings is a close friend of the family, viewed almost as a brother, especially by Spin, not quite by Charlotte who had been paired off with him at one time and is still very close to him. Perry Whitman is an angry young man who looks for faults to point out. He resents the close relationship of Everett with his family. Everett is the groundskeeper (landscaper), who took over his dad’s job. He, like the others, has lived most of his life on the Whitman property with them. They sisters and brothers grew up together with Everett, and he like the Maynard girls and the Whitman boys, all attended the same posh, private school, Holden. As the story develops, old grudges emerge, horrific secrets are exposed and unknown conflicts and issues are revealed. The wonderfully blended family no longer seems that happy together.
This was my second book by Ann Leary and again, it did not fail to entertain. I sped through this book. A rich eccentric family that came together as children of divorce. These kids had some issues, but for the most part were pleasant and like able characters. The story centers mainly on the patriarch of the family, Walt, who passed a few years back and the house that had been in his family for generations. There was a lot of chuckles, a lot of family good old days flashbacks, a lot of deceiving and a lot of sadness, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I did not like the ending, but while the family took it in stride because that's the kind of people they were, I hope the B eventually gets hers. Thanks to St. Martin's Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. If you like books about family, emotions, secrets, deception mixed with a little humor this is a good book for you.