Stella has separated from her husband, George, but she hasn’t told her parents Margaret and Tommy yet. So she convinces him to come along to the murder-mystery party her mother is throwing for their wedding anniversary. It’s a bright spot in what has been a hard time for the family – Margaret has been diagnosed with cancer, Tommy has given up working in his beloved shop, and Stella’s sister, Helen, is worried about her young daughter Isobel.
With the tension ratcheting up as the party progresses, this is an unflinching honest story about family dynamics where just about everything that could go wrong does.
Claire and Matt have a daughter together, Scarlett. As their divorce was amicable and they are still on friendly terms, why not spend Christmas all together at a holiday resort? Add in Patrick, Claire’s boyfriend, a man obsessed with his healthy regime who thinks his girlfriend is perfect and has a lot of resentment towards his ex-wife. Add in Alex, Matt’s girlfriend, with her insecurities and her analytical mind. And add in Posey, Scarlett’s imaginary friend, a giant rabbit no one else can see. What could possibly go wrong?
The book opens with a call for an ambulance because someone has been shot with a bow. From awkward conversations to secrets spilled out, these five people (plus the rabbit) will spend five days together that they will never forget. Told from various points of view, this was a hilarious and entertaining read. I laughed at the weirdness of the situations, at Matt’s infantile behaviour, and at Patrick’s stiffness and perfection. I can see this book turned into an enjoyable Christmas movie and if you are already looking for a fun festive read then you should definitely pick this up. (NP)