On the Bookshelf...


Jenny Eclair

In deepest Cornwall, the mansion Kittiwake has seen many pass through its doors since it was bought by American heiress Peggy Carmichael seventy years ago. Over the decades, the keys have been handed down through the family, and now it belongs to Bel's adoptive brother, Lance. It's where he'll be celebrating his 50th birthday, and Bel is invited. But in going back to Kittiwake, Bel will be returning to the place where it all began - where, following the death of a child, a sequence of events was set in motion years ago, the consequences of which are still rippling down through the generations...

Inheritance by Jenny Eclair is a book that I probably wouldn't have read if it hadn't been for my book group. A family saga spanning decades, it tells the tale of a dysfunctional family. In particular it's the story of Bel, the sister who was adopted. As they gather for Lance's fiftieth birthday at the family home of Kittiwake, the story looks to the past before finally coming together in the final chapters in the present day.

The story is told with a great bit of humour at times, yet somehow it gets lost in the mire of the story. For me there were too many characters to keep track of, and I found myself constantly referring to the genealogical chart at the beginning of the book. Maybe I wasn't invested in the outcome as much as I should have been, or it was a little muddled at times. The characters weren't particularly likeable, except Bel's uncle who reminded me of my Uncle Pete in so many ways. His warmth and closeness to Bel were the saving grace for her. Without him I can't imagine how she would have survived.

If you're into family sagas, then this will be right up your street. There was a lot to like about the book, yet I guess it wasn't for me. The storyline was a little too convoluted, yet I have to admit I didn't see the ending coming. A bit of a Dallas moment there.

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Review by
AJ Steel
March 30, 2023

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