if your mother requested your presence at a party, luring you in by
adding that she had something important to tell the family? Martha
Winter, on the eve of her 80th birthday, does just that, though she's
sure her revelation will have devastating effects.
The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.—A Place for Us by Harriet Evans (Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books, 2015, p. 5)
She woke early. She always did, but lately she couldn't sleep. This summer sometimes she'd been up and dressed by five: too much to think about. No point lying in bed, fretting.
- Setting: English countryside, modern times; flashbacks to Europe during World War II
- Circumstances: Everyone makes sacrifices over the course of a long life, and Martha and David Winter are no exception. But not everyone carries the secrets that Martha has. When she tells her family the truth, there is no predicting their reactions.
- Characters: Martha and David Winter plus their three children and their spouses and their grandchildren
- Genre: family saga plus a little bit thriller
- Topics & themes: family, love, sacrifice, secrets, marriage, parenting
- What I know: The story is told in four parts and from multiple points of view. The core of the novel takes place in the twenty-first century, though there are sections set in World War II Italy and and France.
- Reviews & thoughts: Readers have had a wide range of feelings about this novel. None of the negative comments bother me (for example, I don't mind time shifts and I like multiple points of view), and the positive reviews note the strong emotions and well developed characters. I will likely save this book for a lazy summer weekend.