In this riveting novel of families Fiona Lowe captures with what appears to be ease, the dynamics which can glue a family together or blow it apart, particularly when there is money, prestige and status involved.
Margaret the Matriarch, and as it is later discovered, a narcissist, has always had a firm emotional hold on her family members, playing them off to her own benefit over the years. Her eldest daughter Sarah, has grown up feeling a sense of obligation to her Mother, always trying to please and impress, but is finding as her mother ages this is becoming far more than just challenging. Her marriage, which she has always considered firm and solid, suddenly is no longer which throws Sarah out of her ‘reality’ and into the unknown arena of separation.
Cameron, the middle child and the golden one, is a self-driven man, holding a grudge against his father, considering it his father’s fault they he, Cameron had the family business taken from him, because of his father’s poor business judgement.
And then there is Ellie: she is blond, beautiful and the rebel; the one who left home many years before, vowing never to return but when she does it is with her baby son Noah, attending family functions reluctantly and only staying a short while.
As the family agree to come together for Mother’s Day the first ripples of unease are beginning to be felt in the facade of happy families, which will soon build to cracks and chasms as the layers of generations of deceit, lies and tragedy begin to unfold.
The story is one of many layers, all carefully and skilfully combined which open up a box of issues that many families face, when the often carefully constructed folkloric that surrounds families begins to crumble.
How will Sarah begin to rebuild her life as a single mother of three grown children, and partner in a highly successful family business created by her and her husband Alex; a business created from an idea.
Anita, Cameron’s wife and mother of their four daughters is learning to restructure her life in the country town of Mingunyah, where his family have been upright and well respected members of the community for many generations. She also has to re-assess her life when it becomes cataclysmically obvious that Cameron has manipulated his mother’s estate for his own financial gains.
Ellie is learning to cope with a new love in her life, one that will either bring her pleasure or immense pain, as she too has to open up old wounds, face some terrible truths and move on to what may offers a brighter and better future.
Following on from her acclaimed work Daughter of Mine, Birthright is once again an insightful viewpoint on families and machinations which form the fabric of the family created by those we know as family!
|Publisher||Harper Collins Publishing|
|Distributor||HQ Fiction - AU|