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Friday, December 1, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak @FrancescaHornak @PRHAudio

TITLE: Seven Days of Us
NARRATOR: Jilly Bond
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 17, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 34 mins
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction, Holiday/Christmas
A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays...

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 only coming home 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...


I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

I’m very impressed with this debut novel. I really enjoyed the ups and downs of one family’s relationships, but it kind of broke my heart!

Olivia Birch is a doctor, who has been caring for patients in Africa during a highly contagious and deadly outbreak. She decides to come home for Christmas. As a precaution, she must quarantine herself for a week to limit her exposure to others in the event that she is infected which means that the rest of the family (mom Emma, dad Andrew, and younger sister Phoebe) will also be holed up with her. Andrew’s long-lost son from a fling back in the 80s decides to show up to meet his biological father, and Phoebe’s fiancé can’t stay away so they end up being quarantined with the family as well.

Secrets, secrets, secrets! Everyone in this tale seems to have one. I loved the dynamics of this dysfunctional family, and being forced to remain under one roof together brings everything to a head. Hornak masterfully weaves multiple connections between the Birch family and other characters, and I enjoyed seeing how everything unfolded. Definitely lots of drama! I look forward to reading more from this author.

Jilly Bond narrated this book, and I enjoyed her. The only vocalization that I thought was off was George, Phoebe’s fiancé. Bond made George sound like a much older man, like he was 20 or 30 years older than Phoebe! Bond made Phoebe sound whiney and self-absorbed, which was true to her character’s personality. Here is a sample of the narration:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy holiday fiction. Thanks again to Penguin Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

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