“The past lives on like the wrong tense in a Word document,
constantly underlined, needing to be addressed.”
“When there are three half sisters and three rivaling mothers with some overlap,
“We didn’t look related – mismatching dolls from different sets…”
Lauren (age 33) – the youngest of the girls is just thirteen months younger than Kat. Her mother, Charles’ lover, Dixie, was a free spirit who has recently lost her battle with cancer. Lauren and her mother were very close. Lauren came to know her half-sisters at age nine. She always felt that they were a tight unit to which she didn’t belong – though she longed to…
Kat – the middle sister was born just five months after Flora to her father’s American actress mistress, Blythe. Glamourous and stylish, Kat is the driving force of ‘Spring’ a digital wellness company.
Flora – the eldest sister was born to Annabelle, Charles’ wife. Formerly an interior designer, she now lives with her husband and is a full-time Mum to her four-year-old son, Raff. They live in Surrey.
All three girls adored their father. “Funny and warm and vivid-alive, Dad was one of those people who made you feel like it was your birthday, even when it wasn’t.””A bad decision, wrong time, wrong place, all it takes for your life to change.”As with many of Eve Chase’s novels, the house in this novel is almost a character unto itself. ‘Rock Point’ high atop a seaside cliff in Cornwall, is the family home of the Finch girls. Three daughters, all with different mothers, fathered by the esteemed artist Charles Finch.
“The Birdcage” sees the three women returning to the house for the first time in two decades. Twenty years ago, they suffered a trauma at the house during the day of a solar eclipse. The events of that day are never mentioned. Their father has called them back to Rock Point because he has an important announcement to make.
The sisters share a guarded closeness, like they want to be close, yet they are holding back. Lauren always felt left out as the other two sisters were there first – she didn’t meet them until she was nine years old. This book portrayed a somewhat unique study of sibling relationships – both the good and bad aspects of sisterhood and sibling rivalry.
The paintings depicted in this novel are ones that I would love to view. They would tell the story in a visual and evocative way.
With threatening anonymous notes, winter storms, and stifled memories, this book kept me thoroughly invested throughout. I did guess the ‘big’ secret, but that didn’t mar my enjoyment of the reveal one iota.
Family secrets are my weakness when reading fiction and this novel has the perfect blend of secrets, excellently drawn characters, and an extremely atmospheric setting. I’ve read all of this author’s work to date and she never disappoints.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from G.P. Putnam’s Sons (The Penguin Group) via NetGalley.
Expected Publication date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ISBN: 9780525542414 ASIN: B09JVT4HK2 – 368 pages
Eve Chase is the author of Black Rabbit Hall, The Wildling Sisters, and The Daughters of Foxcote Manor. Eve Chase is a pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. She lives in Oxford, England with her husband and three children.