Everything is about to change.’
The Anniversary is the latest novel from Irish writer Roisin Meaney. Just released with Hachette Ireland, The Anniversary is already soaring up the Irish Book charts, as the demand for Roisin Meaney’s words continues. Roisin is a Number One bestselling author of fourteen novels, aswell as having written a number of children’s books.
The Anniversary is described as ‘a spell-binding story about families, love and moving on’, with Roisin Meaney being described as ‘a master storyteller of complicated human relationships’
I was delighted to receive my copy from the publisher and have my thoughts here for you all today.
About the Book:
Lily and Charlie separated after twenty-six years of marriage. Now, with their divorce due to come through in a matter of months, Lily, newly engaged to the dependable Joe, decides to get the whole family together for one last weekend at Land’s End, their old summer home by the sea. Lily has to break some news to Charlie, her daughter Poll and son Thomas — news she knows they’re not going to be happy about.
But as the family makes their way to Land’s End with their new partners, Lily’s best laid plans are about to go awry.
As Charlie’s much younger girlfriend Chloe guards her own secret, Poll seems intent on sabotaging her apparently perfect relationship, while Thomas wrestles with a decision he knows could break his family apart.
And amid the drama, they’ve forgotten that this weekend also just happens to be Lily and Charlie’s wedding anniversary …
Will all the couples survive the weekend intact?
I am rather ashamed to say that this is the first book by Roisin Meaney that I have read but it certainly will not be my last. We all need books in our lives that we can relax right into, where we are fully immersed in the lives of the characters, as though we are in the same room as them. Roisin Meaney writes with that very familiar relaxed style that is almost like coming home.
The Anniversary is a tale about the complex world of families. Lily is recently engaged to Joe and following the passing of her mother, she decides to invite all her family for a gathering at her mother’s home, the place of Lily’s birth. But as is oft the case, these weekends away are never straight-forward. Lily’s family now extends to her ex-husband Charlie, his much younger partner Chloe and Lily’s fiance Joe. Also present will be her and Charlie’s daughter, Poll, with her boyfriend Aidan and Thomas, Poll’s brother (Lily and Charlie’s son). With a get-together of this nature one can expect fireworks and that is exactly what happens.
Lily and Charlie had a good marriage and would have been thirty years married with their wedding anniversary approaching also on this weekend. Initially it was expected that Chloe could not make it, which really suited everyone, except Charlie, but the best laid plans can often become undone.
Chloe is of similar age to Poll, Charlie’s daughter, and Poll has no desire to spend any time in her company. This has had an impact on what once a strong bond between father and daughter but Poll is unwilling to change her opinion. She recollects Chloe from her school days and finds this new relationship incomprehensible. Poll has additional issues of her own where she finds it very hard to commit in any personal relationships. Her grandmother understood Poll and she is hoping this trip back to the old place will help her sort out the confusing thoughts about herself and her partnership with Aidan.
Thomas is a lost soul. Now working in a cafe, he has spent years trying to find himself. A lonely character, Thomas has gotten used to the notion of the single life. Thomas also struggles greatly with the relationship between his father and Chloe but for very different reasons.
Lily has a reason for bringing everyone together under the one roof for this long weekend but will it prove to be a decision that she will live to regret? Is it possible for all members of her family to be civil and to survive a weekend away together?
The Anniversary exposes the truth underlying many of the relationships in Lily’s family. As each individual struggles to deal with their own internal battles, issues bubble to the surface and harsh words are spoken. Lily is a strong person, a principal of a school, yet even Lily is faced with some very difficult choices to make that could have an impact on the family as a whole.
Roisin Meaney introduces many topical issues onto the pages of The Anniversary as she raises the subjects of divorce, abortion, bullying, loneliness, ageing, violence and death. We witness a family falling apart a little at the seams as the fraying edges are exposed.
There is a gentleness to the writing that carries the reader along in the ebb and flow of the dramas as they unfold. Human frailties are exposed as the veneers slip. As a reader you find yourself drawn to certain individuals, wanting to see them happy and hoping that life will be good to them over time.
The Anniversary is a delightful read about relationships and the complexities associated with family life. It moves along at a gentle pace with heart warming descriptions and a gorgeous portrayal of the West coast of Ireland. A cosy read for anytime of the year, be it in your beach bag or sitting curled up in front of the fire.
Charming. Warm. Inviting.
Purchase Link ~ The Anniversary
Meet the Author:
Roisin Meaney was born in Listowel, Co Kerry, She has lived in the US, Canada, Africa and Europe but is now based in Limerick, Ireland. This Number One bestselling author is a consistent presence on the Irish bestseller list and she is the author of fourteen novels including three stand alone novels set in the fictional island off the west coast of Ireland: One Summer, After the Wedding and I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
Her other bestsellers include: The Last Week of May, The People Next Door, Half Seven on a Thursday, Love in the Making, The Things We Do For Love, Something in Common, Two Fridays in April, The Reunion and The Anniversary.
She has also written books for children.
Website ~ https://roisinmeaney.com/
Twitter ~ @roisinmeaney