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Publisher's Summary

A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays....

It's Christmas, and, for the first time in years, the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter - who is usually off saving the world - will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is coming home only because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she's been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so, too, should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity - and even decent Wi-Fi - and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive....

©2017 Francesca Hornak (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Even Fiction Requires Research

I have a problem with the author using a quarantine--by definition a strict isolation to prevent the spread of disease--as an artifice to force this distant family together for seven days. If you think about how a quarantine works, how would Olivia get from her location abroad--the source of the epidemic--and home to a remote countryside estate in England without putting loads of unsuspecting people at risk? Why would anyone even allow the family to be possibly exposed to a lethal epidemic? That's just the tip of the iceberg of medical improbability for me. In reality none of it makes any sense and to my mind it's too silly to even be considered reckless.

Even worse, if you add in the other sad story lines there is not much that makes this book anything remotely close to a fun holiday listen. I can't continue, and regret the time I've wasted so far. Ugh.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration was poor

the accents and tone affected my view of the characters. some renditions were downright horrible, like George a nd Phoiebe

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Uncovering family secrets at Christmas

This book is excellent! A family comes together for Christmas at a British manor house, initially thinking it will be pretty routine. But almost immediately they are all quarantined for a week, because Olivia, the older daughter, a doctor working in Africa, has recently been exposed to a deadly virus she was helping to treat. And because of this, she and anyone having contact with her, have to be confined from everyone else.

Partly due to this, and partly due to the arrival of a completely unexpected person from America, secrets begin to spill out from everyone, and the family must struggle to absorb it all. At times, it feels a bit like the unfolding of a comedy of errors, till the sobering nature of some of the topics left me feel a little guilty for smiling.

I really liked how cleverly the author kept the plot moving, and her use of emails to reveal some of the character’s inner thoughts was handy. Just occasionally, it felt a tiny bit contrived to get all the pieces to come together, but the gigantic puzzle that the author has assembled in this work was overall a huge success. Although it could be read at any time of year, it does have a holiday theme. Mainly, it was a very good listen! There are a lot of characters, and the narrator did a good job of doing the individual voices. I liked this book a lot, listened to it almost non-stop. Highly recommend!

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Superb

I see lots of awards for this title in the future. This author has a long and sterling career ahead. Do not miss this book!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Seven days of us

This was a fun book to listen to,for the most part.When it is sad,it is nearly too sad to go on ,but we do.Jilly Bond is the perfect narrator for it.

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A Titillating Comedy of Errors!

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is a titillating read about the comedy of errors that befalls a family while they are quarantined in the family home for seven days during the holidays. Daughter, Olivia, has been treating a deadly virus in another country, leading to the quarantine. She finds out that she is at high risk for contracting the virus due to certain relations she engaged in abroad. Her sister, Phoebe, finds out her fiance may not be the man she thinks he is. Their parents are harboring secrets, as well, that threaten to surface during the family’s week together. I found myself holding my breath at each crazy turn the story took, wondering how this dysfunctional family would react. I was never disappointed!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good plot for a movie

Good plot for a movie, lots a characters, all of them with secrets which are revealed during the course of a 7-day quarantine. Be prepared for bad behavior/poor decisions from almost everyone. I didn't love the narration; I think multiple narrators might have served the story better.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful