I was sent this book by Michael Joseph Books the other week. I decided to take this with me to the park on Saturday and finished it in almost one sitting!
The Chamberlain family – Charlie and Daphne, and their children Laura, Scott and Nick – had fantastic summer holidays when they were young. But then, inevitably, the children grew up, and their own messy lives got in the way.
Since their mum died, it feels to them all as if their family just isn’t that close any more. And Charlie fears his kids have all lost their direction.
For his eightieth birthday, all Charlie wants is to bring his family together again – and by some miracle, they’ve all said yes.
It’s only ten days . . . how hard can it be?
This novel was really enjoyable to read. The first hundred pages or so were spent introducing the characters. Charlie, missing his wife Daphne, plans this holiday to try and bring back together his family, namely his three children. Laura, struggling with a teenage son and a broken marriage. Nick with three young babies struggling with grief and Scott, a workaholic turned instant family man.
This is a wonderful novel, perfect for a curling up in a sunny spot and reading. Fast moving, funny, truthful. Noble doesn’t try to sugar coat the very real events that families go through. From marriage, to grief, to raising kids, to teenage struggles, to getting old. Sometimes, it all happens at once, and The Family Holiday follows this slightly messy family on a 10 day holiday where this all comes to the forefront.
Noble has a real skill for weaving a series of complex, well developed characters together in a single story. I really enjoyed this as an easy going, enjoyable novel.