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Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeples #Review

  I am delighted to be on the tour to celebrate a return to Primrose Hall. Sunny Sundays at Primrose Hall by Jill Steeple was published by Boldwood Books on April 15th.   Primrose Hall is more than Jackson Moody and his fiancée Pia’s home – it’s the heart of the community. The Sunday craft fairs in the renovated stables are a popular draw for the locals and tourists alike, enticed by the beautiful surroundings of Primrose Woods as well as the irresistible goodies on display. But for Sophie Wright they’re a chance to forge a new life and a new business. After leaving behind a turbulent relationship, Sophie is starting again – and romance is the last thing on her mind. Drop dead gorgeous Tom Moody, Lord of the Manor Jackson’s newly-discovered older brother, is loving being a member of the Primrose Hall community. Content to muck in where he can be helpful, he’s just happy to be part of the family. But when tragedy strikes, Pia needs Tom more than he ever expected. And when Tom ne

A Modern Family by Helga Flatland translated by Rosie Hedger #Review

Welcome to another Orenda Books tour for a novel with great individuality which has won the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize. Described by the publisher as the Norwegian Anne Tyler, Helga Flatland makes her English debut in a beautiful, bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights…

When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce. Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history. 

A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…  

My Thoughts

This is an affecting and at times, poignant novel which focuses on a fairly ordinary family who are going through a traumatic period in their lives as a family. You get to see the story through the eyes of the three siblings in turn which gives you additional perspective on what is going on within their interlinked emotional lives. Sometimes you get a surprise as you are taken into each of their confidences. Hakon, the youngest son, is kept until the latter stages of the book and I found his story to be the most illuminating as he stepped out of the shadow of his sisters' observations. 

    Despite the fact that they are at the centre of the family and have precipitated the situation they all find themselves in, the parents seem to be strangely absent. The siblings view everything through their own eyes and evaluate events as it has affected them. The novel poses questions about the place of individuals within the family and exposes how they carry guilt or jealousy at times. They also seem unable to recognise family traits within their own behaviour or to see how they share characteristics with each other. 

    This is an absorbing and thoughtful read which shows how complicated family links can be. 

In short: family dynamics strip away and give you a glimse of what lies below.

About the Author

 Helga Flatland is already one of Norway’s most awarded and widely read authors. Born in Telemark, Norway, in 1984, she made her literary debut in 2010 with the novel Stay If You Can, Leave If You Must, for which she was awarded the Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Prize. She has written four novels and a children’s book and has won several other literary awards. Her fifth novel, A Modern Family, was published to wide acclaim in Norway in August 2017, and was a number-one bestseller. The rights have subsequently been sold across Europe and the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies. 

You can follow Helga here: Twitter 

Book links: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Helga Flatland and Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour. 

Check out these great blogs on the Blog Tour!


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