“Nothing seems to have any point if she can’t have Dan…”
Unrequited love, broken hearts, the pain of infertility, the pain of childbirth – both longed for and not wanted. The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor draws up all these topics into a neat and compelling bundle that had me engrossed from the first chapter.
Francesca and Dan have been friends for twenty years, since their shared time at Cambridge University. In that time Olivia has joined them as Dan’s wife and the three of them enjoy a seemingly happy and easy friendship. Such is the friendship that when Dan and Olivia are almost torn apart by their infertility Francesca steps up with a selfless offer that is their salvation.
A beautiful, happy family follows and, when Olivia and Dan find themselves in need of a new home Francesca is quick to offer them rent free luxury in a cottage in the grounds of her grand renovation project – the majestic but adandoned Renniston Hall.
As the story unfolds we are drawn in to the complex connections between characters past and present and it soon becomes clear that Francesca’s motives are not altruistic.
This book is a thriller and a tale of love, both contemporary and historical. It is a really enjoyable story which twists and turns without being contrived, and the characters leap from the page to stay with you long after you have put the book down.
Fans of an ambiguous ending may be disappointed as the book has a fairly clear resolution but, for me, it worked well to finish the story this way.
The Winter Children is a book that you will want to read in one sitting, it sweeps you along and the story and characters were so vivid in my mind that I almost feel I have watched it as a TV drama in HD. I would highly recommend it and, in fact, have already done so to my mum who loved it and Teen 1 who has it in her holding pattern of books to be read. Tri-generational appeal and perfect if you are lucky enough to have a few more days of Christmas holidays left to play with.
My copy of The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor was given to me free of charge for the purposes of this review for Mumsnet Bloggers Network (thank you!). Opinions are all my own.