Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Book Review - The Reunion by Roisin Meaney

Amazon UK
Title:  The Reunion
Author: Roisin Meaney
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hachette Books Ireland
Publication Date: 6th April 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

It's their twenty-year school reunion but the Plunkett sisters have their own reasons for not wanting to attend ...

Caroline, now a successful knitwear designer, spends her time flying between her business in England and her lover in Italy. As far as she's concerned, her school days, and what happened to her the year she left, should stay in the past.
Eleanor, meanwhile, is unrecognisable from the fun-loving girl she was in school. With a son who is barely speaking to her, and a husband keeping a secret from her, revisiting the past is the last thing on her mind.
But when an unexpected letter arrives for Caroline in the weeks before the reunion, memories are stirred.
Will the sisters find the courage to return to the town where they grew up and face what they've been running from all these years?

The Reunion is a moving story about secrets, sisters and finding a way to open your heart.

I'm fairly sure that around 18 months or so ago, I read my first ever Roisin Meaney book and promised myself it wouldn't be the last, and that I would even make inroads into the giant stack of her books that are on my kindle... well fast forward to now and I have finally read The Reunion, and am going to re-pledge that I really need to read more books by this wonderful author! 

What can I say about The Reunion, other than it was a fabulous story, and that I was hooked from the first few pages. The story was a reasonably quick read and when I first looked up I couldn't believe how much I had already read, and how much I was enjoying the content too. 

This is the story of two sisters, and it spans around 22 years since they were teenagers to the adults they are today. It is predominately spread around two particular time frames, although there are additional flashbacks in places. Thanks to all of this by the time you get to the main section about the present day, I felt very connected to both Eleanor and Caroline and was fully engaged with their stories. 

Equally I loved the section based in Ireland in the early 1990s, as it really shows how times and attitudes have changed over the years, with regards to certain issues. It was Caroline's early story that I was most interested in, and just why it was she went to England and turned out how she was. And by the present day though it was perhaps Eleanor that attracted more of my interest. 

In each segment of the book, the story would alternate between the two sisters, and I just had great sympathy for the family as a whole. The other character I really enjoyed reading about was their older cousin Florence. She isn't the easiest of ladies to get to know but had a wonderful group of friends and was a massive unexpected support to Caroline.

The Reunion is all about family, although the title refers to a school reunion which triggers the sisters reminiscing, there are some secrets to come out of the woodwork, and a whole variety of mini reunions going on throughout the book too. It is great to see a title that really does sum up some of the theming of the novel. 

I'm so glad I finally got around to reading The Reunion, and taking another chance on a  Roisin Meaney book. I will be mentally adding her to my much loved Irish Women's fiction authors list and will try to remember to read more books from her in the future, as I definitely love her writing style and way she tells a story. 

Thank you to Hachette Books Ireland and Netgalley for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.  

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