Synopsis from Amazon;-
For some families, a year can feel like a lifetime. The Harrisons are a large and extremely close-knit family. But with the grandchildren fast becoming adults and elderly Pamela struggling to adapt to widowhood and the emptiness of Ashley House, the four children of the middle generation find themselves equally lost in a changing world. As preparations for 42 year-old Cassie’s long-awaited wedding gather pace and an exotic family holiday is planned, sibling and marital bonds are stretched to breaking point: adultery, an unwanted pregnancy, shadows of past losses, suddenly a year of celebration threatens to become one of painful upheaval. Beset by such emotional chaos, how can the adults hope to guide their children in matters of the heart? Or are the children the ones who should be guiding them? A multi-generational story of love, lies and family ties, “The Simple Rules of Love” presents Amanda Brookfield at her perceptive and poignant best.
When I started reading this book I was delighted to find out that it was a sequel to a previous Brookfield novel ‘Relative Love’ which I read maybe 5 years ago. I was pleased to find out what happened to the numerous characters in the Haarrison clan. The book is almost 600 pages long and is about the ups and downs of an extended middle class family over the space of a year. Unwanted pregnancy, separation and attempted suicide are all here.
The book is too long and even more annoying is that all the ends are tidied up pat and happily. Relationships end up perfect for example Serena and Charlie are just not believable in the end. However it is well written, thorough and descriptive and it was not a chore. Brookfield has a blockbuster in there somewhere but this is not it. However I still very much enjoy reading this author, this being the fifth novel of hers that I have read so far.