Back in December I ‘attended’ a fantastic evening from @TeamBATC showcasing the books coming in 2021. You can read about that event here. A Family Reunion by Patricia Scanlan was one of those books and I’m delighted to participate in the blog tour for it today by sharing my review. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me.
A Family Reunion was published in paperback by Simon and Schuster on 4th March 2021 and is available for purchase through the links here.
A Family Reunion
One explosive family reunion. A lifetime of secrets revealed.
When four feisty women from the same family, get together at a family reunion, anything can happen…
Marie-Claire, betrayed by her partner Marc plans her revenge to teach him a lesson he will never forget. She travels from Toronto, home to Ireland, to the house of the Four Winds, for her great aunt Reverend Mother Brigid’s eightieth birthday celebrations. It will be a long-awaited reunion for three generations of family, bringing together her mother, Keelin and grandmother, Imelda – who have never quite got along
And then all hell breaks loose.
Bitter, jealous Imelda makes a shocking revelation that forces them all to confront their pasts, admit mistakes, and face the truths that have shaped their lives. With four fierce, opinionated women in one family, will they ever be able to forgive the past and share a future?
And what of Marc?
It’s never too late to make amends…or is it?
Spanning generations and covering seismic shifts in the lives of women, A Family Reunion is a compelling, thought-provoking, important and highly emotional novel from a trailblazing author in women’s fiction.
My Review of A Family Reunion
Secrets of the past won’t remain buried.
A Family Reunion is what I’d call a ‘proper’ story. All the elements I like are present, with strong characters, a compelling plot and a real sense of place. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it was one of those books that would lend itself beautifully to a television series because there are secrets, twists and turns that make for a really immersive narrative.
Patricia Scanlan is a consummate story teller. Whilst A Family Reunion is a compelling story of family and relationships, the author weaves geography, history, religion and sociology into it so that her reader is moved, outraged and ensnared in equal measure. I found the presentation of Ireland’s female sexual and religious emancipation as a backdrop to the narratives of Imogen, Brigid, Keelin and Marie-Claire absolutely fascinating and I was quite surprised by some of the vehemence expressed not only by the characters but also through the authorial voice too. Whilst I agreed wholeheartedly with them, I do, however, think some readers might find themselves at odds with some of the views expressed. A Family Reunion caused me to scurry off and research some of its factual references so that my reading experience was enriched and my awareness raised. This is a book that satisfies beyond the confines of its pages.
I absolutely loved having three generations of women because it felt like a natural and recognisable scenario. Brigid and Imogen have a maturity and experience that gives depth. Although I liked her least because of her bitterness and vindictiveness, I found Imogen the most fascinating. She illustrates so brilliantly how perception and imagined wrongs can fester and affect us. Indeed, Patricia Scanlan shows her readers considerable humanity as she presents four flawed and vivid women who all embody an element any reader could relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed the way layers of the past became the bedrock of the present for these four women.
I found the settings in A Family Reunion highly effective. I loved being in Africa with Brigid and now have a hankering to visit Iona. It was smashing to feel I’d been on a road trip after so many months in lockdown.
I think there are elements of A Family Reunion that will divide opinion depending on the religious beliefs and backgrounds of the reader. However, I found it an immersive and entertaining book and am glad I have finally discovered Patricia Scanlan’s writing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Family Reunion.
About Patricia Scanlan
Patricia Scanlan lives in Dublin. Her books, all number one bestsellers, have sold worldwide and been translated
into many languages.
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