A year in the life of the members of the divided McKotch family, revealing their secrets and their conflicts
The house by the sea held sepia-tinted family memories tight within its walls. Once a year it was dusted down, its windows flung open, the sound of laughter echoed throughout its rooms; this was the rhythm of family life. All that is about to change.
When Gwen, the youngest child, is diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome, the family knows that her body will never grow to adulthood. Frank, her scientist father, is fascinated by the disease, while Paulette her mother is horrified. As they struggle to cope with the ramifications of Gwen's illness, her parents see the cracks within their marriage widen irreparably.
Equally affected are their sons; one a successful lawyer in denial about who he is, the other whose search for himself and his need for his parents' approval has only resulted in a series of dead ends.
Jennifer Haigh paints a brilliant portrait of a family idyll and its seemingly inevitable and painful disintegration in this stunning and thought-provoking novel.