Originally published: 1 December 2018
Author: Imogen Clark
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Length: 320 pages
Reading dates: 20-25 November 2018
You know sometimes you are just drawn to a book and you know you are going to love it, even though you can’t explain why? This is how I felt about The Thing About Clare.
Telling the story of the four Bliss siblings, who come together at the beginning of the book at the funeral of their mother, Dorothy, the narrative is told over multiple viewpoints (all 4 siblings and their mum) and over several years (starting in 1961 and ending in 2017).
Miriam is the eldest most sensible and conventional of the siblings, settled into her life as a teacher with her husband and daughters. Next we have single mum Clare, the black sheep of the family who has always been rebellious, ricocheting from one relationship to the next, drinking heavily and refusing help from her family. Anna has always been considered by her siblings to be the favourite child and Sebastian is the baby of the family, a surprising and unexpected addition.
Dorothy, while living in a home after having a stroke, entrusts her favourite daughter to go to her house, and destroy her will along with an accompanying letter but what Anna finds in the letter could destroy the family’s relationship and she has to make the decision whether she should share what she finds with her siblings.
I just loved the nostalgia in this book – talk of the Silver Jubilee street party in 1977 (which I just about remember attending) and of penny sweets and Jubilee pancakes from the Little Chef on holiday journeys.
All the characters are well written and at times my sympathy for them was almost overwhelming! I really liked how the author used different characters to cover the different time periods – despite there being quite large gaps in time, I felt like she managed to fill them in perfectly.
A wonderful family drama, with a bit of mystery thrown in. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Maggie O’Farrell. Thank you to ed public relations for inviting me on the blog tour.
The Thing About Clare by Imogen Clark is published on 1st December 2018 in paperback and ebook by Lake Union Publishing.
About the author:
Bestselling author Imogen Clark writes contemporary women’s fiction about the secrets that hide at the heart of the families that she creates. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and children (who hopefully have no such secrets to tell!)
Imogen initially qualified as a lawyer but after leaving her legal career behind to care for her four children, she returned to her first love – books. She went back to University, studying part-time whilst the children were at school and graduated with a BA in English Literature with First Class Honours.
Imogen’s great love is travel and she is always planning her next adventure.
Great review Clair and this book sounds lovely.
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I loved it so much!
Damn, stop reading good books! I just had to buy this one…
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Sorry, not sorry! I’m keeping a stack of books here to pass on to you when I see you again! Hope you enjoy this one…I reckon we are the perfect age for it!
Thank you for giving the book such a lovely review. Glad you remember Jubilee Pancakes! I miss those ( although I’m sure the topping came out of a tin so they probably wouldn’t be to the 21st century taste!
Sorry for the late reply – I’ve just discovered all my unapproved comments! I still use tinned fruit filling to make a quick crumble!
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