For three years Joseph Scott has been haunted by one moment-the moment that changed his life forever. Now he is starting over, and he wants his family back more than anything.
This is the story of Joseph and his wife, Zoe; of their children, Scarlet, Theo and Ben, for whom nothing will be the same; and of Zoe’s parents, who can’t forgive or understand.
A compelling, moving and ultimately optimistic story of one man who will do almost anything to be reunited with his children. And of the grandparents who are determined to stop him.
This month’s book club choice was mine! I picked The Son-in-Law by Charity Norman. I hadn’t read anything by this author before but heard lots of good things, particularly by my mum who recommended this novel! I thought it would also be a good change from the usual thrillers/crime novels I tend to pick. It’s always nice to try something a little different!
This was a resoundingly popular choice! Everyone reported that they really enjoyed it, with one of my friends saying it was one of her new favourite books because she really enjoys novels about real life, that are realistic and revolve around every day situations with a dash of added drama! I believe it’s part of the ‘domestic noir’ genre that is seems to be gaining more and more popularity in recent years- for those who haven’t encountered this term before, the definition from novelist Julia Crouch, who originally started applying the term to novels, is:
“In a nutshell, Domestic Noir takes place primarily in homes and workplaces, concerns itself largely (but not exclusively) with the female experience, is based around relationships and takes as its base a broadly feminist view that the domestic sphere is a challenging and sometimes dangerous prospect for its inhabitants.”
The characters are so well crafted in The Son-in-Law, and that’s what really draws you in. You care about what happens to them, and the sides you think you’ll take at the beginning are really challenged as you find out more and more about what really happened that fateful night. It resulted in a lot to talk about because it’s all quite controversial situations and outcomes! Charity Norman’s skilful writing is both easy to read whilst encouraging the reader to think about how they’d feel if they were in any of the character’s situations.
The story has drama but is never overe the top, and the pace is just right- giving enough detail to create a beautifully crafted story without being too much. This is just a brilliant slow burner of a read, and I would really recommend it.
Have you read any novels by Charity Norman? If so, what did you think?
A Trip To The Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard
This is the true story of a trip to the beach that never ends. It’s about a husband and wife who escape civilization to build a small restaurant on an island paradise — and discover that even paradise has its pitfalls. It’s a story filled with calamities and comedy, culinary disasters and triumphs, and indelible portraits of people who live and work on a sliver of beauty set in the Caribbean Sea. It’s about the maddening, exhausting, outlandish complications of trying to live the simple life — and the joy that comes when you somehow pull it off.
The story begins when Bob and Melinda Blanchard sell their successful Vermont food business and decide, perhaps impulsively, to get away from it all. Why not open a beach bar and grill on Anguilla, their favorite Caribbean island? One thing leads to another and the little grill turns into an enchanting restaurant that quickly draws four-star reviews and a celebrity-studded clientele eager for Melinda’s delectable cooking. Amid the frenetic pace of the Christmas “high season,” the Blanchards and their kitchen staff — Clinton and Ozzie, the dancing sous-chefs; Shabby, the master lobster-wrangler; Bug, the dish-washing comedian — come together like a crack drill team. And even in the midst of hilarious pandemonium, there are moments of bliss.
As the Blanchards learn to adapt to island time, they become ever more deeply attached to the quirky rhythms and customs of their new home. Until disaster strikes: Hurricane Luis, a category-4 storm with two-hundred-mile-an-hour gusts, devastates Anguilla. Bob and Melinda survey the wreckage of their beloved restaurant and wonder whether leaving Anguilla, with its innumerable challenges, would be any easier than walking out on each other. Affectionate, seductive, and very funny, A Trip to the Beach is a love letter to a place that becomes both home and escape.