“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.” — Jeanette Winterson




[Review] At Home with the Templetons by Monica McInerney

Title: At Home with the Templetons: A Novel  (This link goes to Amazon)
Author: Monica McInerney
Page: 593 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Victoria (Australia), Country Life, Friendship, Domestic Fiction
Publisher: Pan MacMillan (2010), Paperback
First Published: 2010

When the Templeton family from England takes up residence in a stately home in country Australia, they  set the locals talking—and with good reason. From the outside, the seven Templetons seem so unusual … peculiar even. No one is more intrigued by the family than their neighbours, single mother Nina Donovan and her son Tom. Before long, the two families become entwined in unexpected way, to the delight of Gracie, the youngest of the Templeton daughters.

In the years that follow, the relationships between the Templetons and the two Donovans twist and turn in unpredictable and life-changing directions, until a tragedy tears them all apart. What will it take to bring them together again?

- Synopsis from book cover

My Thoughts:

At Home with the Templetons I would say is a great read, easily readable and quite enjoyable. Character dynamics are great. The Templetons alone would color the whole story. They, to say the least, are an unusual lot.

Henry Templeton moved his family away from their city life in England to take up residence in a neglected colonial mansion in Victoria, Australia he inherited from a great-uncle. Every weekend the Templetons—all seven of them—clad in period costumes open up “tours” to the public at the Templeton Hall to relive the mid-1800 Victorian gold rush era. None of the Templeton siblings are enthusiastic about the task—except the eleven-year-old Gracie. And their alcoholic Aunt Hope—Aunt Hopeless is what the siblings nicknamed her—in her drunken state often is a troublemaker and offensive to the guests. The two older daughters, Charlotte is a teenage brat and Audrey is a drama queen. Little Spencer is mischievous, always up to something … like making a chemical bomb. And Mr. and Mrs. Templeton, in spite of their cheerful façade, quarrels a lot about the finances and debts that comes with the running of the Templeton Hall.

The story, however came off a bit slow at the beginning as the readers are introduced to the characters and their day-to-day lives. It is told in three parts, not much action in the first half of the 600-page book, but if you are patient enough to stick with the story, you’ll find it rather satisfying towards the end.

Most importantly, with this kind of books you can always expect a happy ending. Great for summer holiday reads.

2 comments:

Tiny Library said...

Sometimes you do just need a book with a happy ending :)

bumblesby said...

I saw this book in a YouTube book haul recently and it intrigued me. I think I will pick it up. Thanks!