Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Brief: The Children by Ann Leary


The Children
by Ann Leary
St. Martin's Press, 2016
256 pages
source: borrowed from the library

Summary (from Goodreads):
From New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary comes the captivating story of a wealthy, but unconventional New England family, told from the perspective of a reclusive 29-year-old who has a secret (and famous) life on the Internet.

Charlotte Maynard rarely leaves her mother’s home, the sprawling Connecticut lake house that belonged to her late stepfather, Whit Whitman, and the generations of Whitmans before him. While Charlotte and her sister, Sally, grew up at “Lakeside,” their stepbrothers, Spin and Perry, were welcomed as weekend guests. Now the grown boys own the estate, which Joan occupies by their grace—and a provision in the family trust. When Spin, the youngest and favorite of all the children, brings his fiancĂ© home for the summer, the entire family is intrigued. The beautiful and accomplished Laurel Atwood breathes new life into this often comically rarefied world. But as the wedding draws near, and flaws surface in the family’s polite veneer, an array of simmering resentments and unfortunate truths is exposed.

With remarkable wit and insight, Ann Leary pulls back the curtain on one blended family, as they are forced to grapple with the assets and liabilities – both material and psychological – left behind by their wonderfully flawed patriarch

Quick thoughts:

The Good House was an audio favorite a few years ago [my review] and I've been eagerly anticipating Ann Leary's next novel. I was first in line (!) for my library's electronic copy and breezed through the book in just a couple of days.... I was not disappointed.

My three-sentence review from Litsy and Goodreads:
Keeping the fun in dysfunctional! I do love a good family drama... throw in a lake house, a trust fund, secrets and deception, and you've got a winner. Plus, it's written by a trusted author.

I've already recommended this one to my daughters, sisters, and mother. It belongs on your summer reading list, too.

My rating:


31 comments:

  1. Hmm, sounds a little like The Nest (which I haven't read yet). I am sure they are completely different though, from different authors. I'm going to add this one to my summer reading list too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.

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    1. Pat - There are some similar elements, but they are very different books. Both perfect summer reading !

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  2. I've really wanted to read The Good House for quite some time and this one caught my interest though I wasn't sure what it was about. It definitely sounds like it needs to be on my TBR!

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    1. Katherine - When you get to The Good House, I suggest going the audio route. The narrator made a great story even better.

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    1. Kathy - Me,too!I couldn't put it down.

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  4. Hmmm...tempting. So is Sweetbitter, since you liked it. :) The synopsis reminds me of a former boss, who always called her lake house by its name, got divorced, and married her next door neighbor at the lake. Knowing her, there was probably drama.

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    1. Audrey - I've been on a streak with great new novels this past month. I'm listening to Cranford now and, in many ways, it's almost a relief... much calmer and so charming. Sounds like there could be a novel in your former boss's story ;-)

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  5. So glad you enjoyed it! I loved it, of course, just as I did The Good House...which is supposed to be released as a movie, but I haven't seen a release date yet.

    I like your remarks: "keeping the fun in dysfunctional."

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I'd forgotten that The Good House was being made into a movie! Bet it'll be a good one. Not sure where I first saw the 'fun in dysfunctional' phrase, but it certainly applies to the family in The Children, lol!

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  6. Another book you've made me want to read!

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    1. Vicki - Not sure whether I should say thank you or I'm sorry ;-)

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    2. LOL! Thank you would be the right choice.

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  7. I need to check out this author.

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    1. Reviewsbylola - She is excellent!

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  8. I'm seeing this book all over the place and really want to read it this year. I'm hoping it doesn't go by the wayside like the books I planned to read last year. By the way, what's it like to be first in line at the library? I think I'm 40th in line for some of the books I have on hold. *sigh*

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    1. Kathy - I'm not sure why I'm having such good luck with the library lately! This has never happened before, but I'm not complaining!!

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  9. This one hasn't really been on my radar, but I think it should be! These kind of stories are my favorite for summer.

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    1. ANbolyn - This is exactly the kind of book I love reading for summer, too. Leary does not disappoint!

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  10. This sounds really interesting.

    In particular the part in the description about the secret life on the Internet. The world has changed so much over the past few years. It is interesting how literature is beginning to grapple these new situations which have suddenly become common.

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    1. Brian Joseph - The secret life on the internet was such an interesting element... I don't think I've read a book that featured an on-line alter ego before!

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  11. I loved the audio version of The Good House and plan to read this new novel sometime this summer. I think I'll see about getting the audio for this, although I'm not sure about the reader. I listened to a snippet and she sounds a little monotone.

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    1. Les - I still think The Good House is one of the best audio productions ever... such great narration! Have not heard anything about the audio version of The Children, but a little monotone not good :(

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  12. I really can't wait to read this one.

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    1. Patty - I think you're going to love it!

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  13. Lake house novels seem appropriate for you. Glad this one worked out!

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    1. Susan - A house by the water gets me every time! ;-)

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  14. I haven't read any book by this author but she certainly has a huge fan following. This one has a premise that sounds fascinating.

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    1. Athira - I will read any book she writes in the future, too!

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  15. Yay! I really enjoyed her debut! Good to hear her second book is also good.

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    1. Care - Think you'll like this one... perfect boat reading!

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