Charlotte Maynard is a recluse, rarely leaving her family home in Connecticut, a lake house that has been in the family for generations. Technically, Charlotte and her sister, Sally, are not part of the “family”; their stepbrothers are true Whitmans, and they are the owners of the house. Charlotte and her mother, Joan, however, continue to live there by the grace of the boys – and a provision in the family trust. When Spin, the youngest and favorite brother, brings his fiancée home for the summer, the entire family is intrigued by her. Laurel Atwood is beautiful and accomplished and perfect in every way. But as the wedding date looms closer, the family’s polite veneer begins to chip and an array of resentments and unsettling truths are exposed.
When I first heard the premise of this book, it reminded me of The Nest, which I really did not like at all. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I quite enjoyed this novel. The writing style was really great, and kept me engaged throughout the story. It wasn’t filled with useless details, and everything was connected. I loved the characters. They were all so eccentric and funny and just lovable. The story was told from Charlotte’s perspective, and she doesn’t shy away from any of the craziness that surrounds her. But through her account, we see the different facets of each child’s personality that come together to make them the way they are. The story began to really pick up pace at the midpoint of the novel and it moved quickly until the end. It isn’t a happy ending, but it is one that I feel is realistic and genuine. I wasn’t expecting this novel to win me over but it did. It really really did. And in order to appreciate this novel for its worth, you just have to read it!