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A Very Big House in the Country by Claire…

A Very Big House in the Country

by Claire Sandy

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The very big house in the country is Wellcome Manor, an idyllic holiday home in Devon. It is home for the summer to the Herreras, the Ling-Littles and the Browns. It is a summer that will be life changing as friendships are made, secrets surface and admissions are made.

The families are an eclectic mix, Eva and Mike Herreras are cash strapped but coping and are accompanied by their 2 youngsters, a truculent teenager and dog. Shen and Clive Ling-Little by contrast are wealthy and despite Shen and Eva being good friends a complete contrast Shen is Clive's high maintenance 3rd wife struggling to come to terms with motherhood and the unexpected arrival of wayward stepson Zane. Paula and John Brown and kids and are a last minute replacement for the original couple who dropped out and are a relative unknown but are clearly troubled.

The book sheds light onto the workings of the various marriages and parent/child relationships which range from challenging to easy depending on the couple and the children. The friendships between the teenagers are interesting and over the course of the holiday they positively blossom, change and grow in unexpected ways. Meanwhile the younger children are oblivious to the adult goings on and are living in an idyllic, Enid Blyton like dream world.

Having read Claire’s previous title What Would Mary Berry Do, I was looking forward to reading this and I'm happy to say it was just as enjoyable. While the plot is totally different it still has echoes of some of the similar themes, dealing as it does with family life and friendships and the contrasts/desires they may throw up. It has the same light touch which makes it a fun read, though there are times when the plot line throws up the unexpected.

This is a great, entertaining anytime read that I happily recommend.

I received a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
( )
  Jilldoyle | Mar 27, 2016 |
Three couples and their assorted children spend two weeks in an idyllic house in Devon. Lots of mystery, revelations and surprises, and relationships change.

A very enjoyable light read ( )
  pamjw | Mar 18, 2016 |
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For one long hot summer in Devon, three families are sharing one very big house in the country. The Herreras: made up of two tired parents, three grumbling children and one promiscuous dog; the Littles: he's loaded (despite two divorces and five kids), she's gorgeous, but maybe the equation for a truly happy marriage is a bit more complicated than that; and the Browns, who seem oddly jumpy around people, but especially each other. By the pool, new friendships blossom; at the aga door, resentments begin to simmer. Secret crushes are formed and secret cigarettes cadged by the teens, as the adults loosen their inhibitions with litres of white wine and start to get perhaps a little too honest ... Mother hen to all, Evie Herreras has a life-changing announcement to make, one that could rock the foundations of her family. But will someone else beat her to it?.… (more)

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