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It's Christmas, and, for the first time in years, the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter - who is usually off saving the world - will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is coming home only because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so, too, should her family.
For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity - and even decent Wi-Fi - and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.
As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.
In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive....
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sara on 12-10-17
Even Fiction Requires Research
I have a problem with the author using a quarantine--by definition a strict isolation to prevent the spread of disease--as an artifice to force this distant family together for seven days. If you think about how a quarantine works, how would Olivia get from her location abroad--the source of the epidemic--and home to a remote countryside estate in England without putting loads of unsuspecting people at risk? Why would anyone even allow the family to be possibly exposed to a lethal epidemic? That's just the tip of the iceberg of medical improbability for me. In reality none of it makes any sense and to my mind it's too silly to even be considered reckless.
Even worse, if you add in the other sad story lines there is not much that makes this book anything remotely close to a fun holiday listen. I can't continue, and regret the time I've wasted so far. Ugh.
21 of 25 people found this review helpful