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The FIRST of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans - you'll be desperate to read on ... The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. I The FIRST of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans - you'll be desperate to read on ... The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you'll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors. The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside. The hall is cool after the hot summer's day. The welcome is kind, and always warm. Yet something makes you suspect life here can't be as perfect as it seems. After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret. But wouldn't you pay any price to have a glorious place like this? Welcome to Winterfold. Martha Winter's family is finally coming home.


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The FIRST of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans - you'll be desperate to read on ... The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. I The FIRST of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans - you'll be desperate to read on ... The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you'll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors. The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside. The hall is cool after the hot summer's day. The welcome is kind, and always warm. Yet something makes you suspect life here can't be as perfect as it seems. After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret. But wouldn't you pay any price to have a glorious place like this? Welcome to Winterfold. Martha Winter's family is finally coming home.

30 review for A Place For Us Part 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    It's been quite a while since I read anything by Harriet Evans, so when I was offered the chance to review her new serialized story I was straight onto it. I love her writing style filled with strong characters and a long, yarn, usually spanning several generations of one family. This one too is about one family who we gradually learn about from the first person narrative as they prepare for the matriarch, Martha's eightieth birthday party. This is really not a story where lots happens, instead t It's been quite a while since I read anything by Harriet Evans, so when I was offered the chance to review her new serialized story I was straight onto it. I love her writing style filled with strong characters and a long, yarn, usually spanning several generations of one family. This one too is about one family who we gradually learn about from the first person narrative as they prepare for the matriarch, Martha's eightieth birthday party. This is really not a story where lots happens, instead the drama and the tension comes from piecing together what the characters are not saying, and trying to guess what the big secret is they are all complicit in. There is so much going on under the surface. I loved the writing style in this, it was beautifully understated yet still built up the anticipation nicely. It was perfect for relaying the brooding, slightly sinister tensions simmering between the members of this family, but like most of the characters, it was quiet and repressed. I really enjoyed reading about Martha's grown up village GP son, Bill and his much, much younger second wife, Karen. They're growing apart and she looks like she's up to something too, but we don't yet learn quite what: "Bill picked up the post on the hall table, thumbing carefully through it. She watched him, in silence. Their marriage was based on silence these days. More and more. What they didn't say was everything, and what they did, inconsequential." I was pretty engrossed in this - now I'm interested to read how they behave around one another when they all get together and dying to know what this deep, dark secret is - I have a few theories, but there are so many possibilities. Recommended, quality read. No sex, sadly, but I live in hope...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Romance Readers Retreat

    To begin with, I would start by saying that I'm afraid I just didn't follow the story at all. I've done a little investigating and believe that the book was originally released in pb and that this, the ebook version is a part of that original book, which is now being broken up into smaller books. Not having read the full pb version, I found that there were too many characters for me to keep up with and not enough of a story surrounding any of them to sink my teeth into. Just when I thought I might To begin with, I would start by saying that I'm afraid I just didn't follow the story at all. I've done a little investigating and believe that the book was originally released in pb and that this, the ebook version is a part of that original book, which is now being broken up into smaller books. Not having read the full pb version, I found that there were too many characters for me to keep up with and not enough of a story surrounding any of them to sink my teeth into. Just when I thought I might have someone figured out, it switches to another family member and I felt lost all over again. I found the writing to be a little verbose and although that works in some books, I didn't feel as if it added to the story. That may be because I didn't feel that the characters were thrashed out enough. That's not to say that the writing style was bad, it's beautifully written, just not meaty enough for me. The synopsis mentions JoJo Moyes, who's books I have loved, but I thought that the difference between this book and her work, is that I was not drawn in, it lacked the emotional pull - I feel this is mainly due to there being too many characters and, again, not enough about any of them. I wanted to know more. I honestly believe that this book could be great if the original was broken up in a different way, dealing with fewer characters at a time - allowing the reader to invest in one or two characters instead of trying to introduce all the characters in part 1. Martha and David could tie all the books together but I felt that Bill, Karen and Joe could have their own story. As could Cat and Olivier. Lucy fits in somewhere although I don't know where. And Florence? Well, she's a novel all on her own. I was so disappointed with the way it ended so abruptly. I found it totally anti-climactic as I didn't feel it answered any of the questions and let me feeling unfulfilled. I wanted to know so much more about all the characters who each seem to have such interesting stories of their own. I'm no author (far from it) but couldn't help feeling a little overwhelmed. I'm sure as a whole, the pb is gripping and just wish it could have been broken up differently. I'm sorry I wasn't able to give this a higher star rating but I hope I have explained why. ******************************************** Synopsis: The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you'll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors. The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside. The hall is cool after the hot summer's day. The welcome is kind, and always warm. Yet something makes you suspect life here can't be as perfect as it seems. After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret. But wouldn't you pay any price to have a glorious place like this? Welcome to Winterfold. Martha Winter's family is finally coming home.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was pre-approved for this book on Netgallery, which has never happened before! So I read it the next day. Matha Winter is turning eighty, and decides it's time to let her family know the secret she's been hiding. She sends them all invitations inviting them to her 80th birthday party, with a worry message that "There will be an important announcement". It is this line that worries the family, their lives are hard enough as it is, without anything else to upset the balance. Florence will have to I was pre-approved for this book on Netgallery, which has never happened before! So I read it the next day. Matha Winter is turning eighty, and decides it's time to let her family know the secret she's been hiding. She sends them all invitations inviting them to her 80th birthday party, with a worry message that "There will be an important announcement". It is this line that worries the family, their lives are hard enough as it is, without anything else to upset the balance. Florence will have to make a special trip back home, after running away twenty years ago to pursue her history of art studies in Florence. It's easier for Bill to attend, as he's stayed close to his parents, as the trusted village doctor, loved by all, except his wife. But what about Daisy? Having run away from home, leaving her baby girl, no one has heard from her in four years, as she is doing charity work in Africa. Despite her mother leaving her. I love a book that has different narratives, and this book has many! We get perspectives from about seven different and interesting people, which although is confusing at first, is very gripping. My favourite character was Florence, who is stressed with a lot of things on her plate, including a big secret about a colleague, and is starting to get to breaking point. However, due to all the view points, it means the story is quite slow moving. We get to the end of the book, and only one of the 3 people has arrive at the family home, with still about a week to go before the party. Inevitably, we do get a told what Matha's secret to be revealed is. Unfortunately, it was predictable. I think I probably would read the next book, as I was interested in the characters, and I would like to see their reactions to the news. For this review, and others like it, see: https://tumblingintowonderlandbooks.w...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan Foulkes

    I have to admit that it's been a while since I read Harriet Evans...I enjoyed her books but because of events in my own life I found myself reading new genres and new authors. I was so pleased to be offered this book via Netgalley. Harriet's writing style has matured and whilst I would agree that fans of Rosamund Pilcher would enjoy this novel, I was reminded more of Elizabeth Jane Howard and the Cazalet books. The opening sentence had me hooked... "The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her f I have to admit that it's been a while since I read Harriet Evans...I enjoyed her books but because of events in my own life I found myself reading new genres and new authors. I was so pleased to be offered this book via Netgalley. Harriet's writing style has matured and whilst I would agree that fans of Rosamund Pilcher would enjoy this novel, I was reminded more of Elizabeth Jane Howard and the Cazalet books. The opening sentence had me hooked... "The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day." This is the story of the Winter family and their house, Winterfold. It is also a story of secrets and half truths and how the past defines who we are. The family members are well written characters...and each and every one of them has a secret... Both children and grandchildren describe the wonderful times they had at Winterfold....which makes it surprising that none of them seem keen to visit...until Martha sends out the invitations to her 80th birthday party stating that "an announcement" would be made..... We are left to speculate (along with the characters) as to what this announcement will be.....probably something to do with Daisy, who appears to have been the fly in the ointment of an otherwise idyllic childhood for Martha's son Bill and her eldest daughter. We are never told why she was regarded like this or what she actually did....Bill's second wife, Karen complains that nothing is ever explained, simply alluded to as though everyone already knows. The novel is being published in four parts on a monthly basis and I'm not sure how I feel about this....with a story this good that I can really get my teeth into I want to keep reading. I suppose having to wait a month for Part 2 will teach me patience!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suze Lavender

    Martha Winter is organizing an important party for her family. The big house is empty now while it used to be so lively and filled with talk and the best parties in the village. She's living there with just her husband and there aren't many visitors. Martha and David bought the house together when their three children were still very young. They've been hiding something all those years and Martha thinks it's time to reveal the truth. Martha wants to share their secret with everyone. She will ann Martha Winter is organizing an important party for her family. The big house is empty now while it used to be so lively and filled with talk and the best parties in the village. She's living there with just her husband and there aren't many visitors. Martha and David bought the house together when their three children were still very young. They've been hiding something all those years and Martha thinks it's time to reveal the truth. Martha wants to share their secret with everyone. She will announce it on her eightieth birthday, at the party. She sends special invites to make sure her family knows how important it is that they're coming. In A Place for Us the reader isn't only introduced to Martha, but to all the people who are invited to or involved with the party. There's Joe, who's going to do the catering. Martha's daughter-in-law Karen, isn't happy in her marriage. The two grandchildren Lucy and Cat are struggling and can't seem to find their place in life. The reader also meets Martha's daughter Florence who's working in Florence and has some problems as well. Everyone is coping with the difficulties of life and still this isn't a heavy and sad read. The clever writing makes this series a joy to read. I'm so curious to find out what the secret is. I loved reading about all the different and sometimes quirky family members. Nothing is as it seems and slowly the truth will be revealed. I can't wait to read the next part of A Place for Us!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Aldred

    The beginning line is certainly one that intrigues, but the first two chapters do give the impression of a great deal of information being unloaded about the family, both past and present, before the story is able move on. The sense of mystery feels overemphasized at this stage. However when the story does get going, it becomes an enthralling study of the Winter family through the eyes of its members and two outsiders, Karen, the wife of one of the children, and Joe, the chef at the local pub. Ju The beginning line is certainly one that intrigues, but the first two chapters do give the impression of a great deal of information being unloaded about the family, both past and present, before the story is able move on. The sense of mystery feels overemphasized at this stage. However when the story does get going, it becomes an enthralling study of the Winter family through the eyes of its members and two outsiders, Karen, the wife of one of the children, and Joe, the chef at the local pub. Juggling an ensemble of protagonists, each of whom has a viewpoint of equal importance in terms of the plot, might make the story feel fractured and difficult to follow, but this is not a problem in ‘A Pace For Us Part 1’. The read flows well and compels the reader to move onto the next chapter for fear that if they put the book down too long, life within the novel might have moved on without them. Harriet Evans' writing succeeds in not only providing some very poignant observations on human nature but also gradually turning up the heat under a cauldron of bubbling intrigue. The cliffhanger ending certainly leaves the reader with a sense of needing to find out what happens next.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jill's Book Cafe

    On the occasion of Martha Winters' 80th birthday all the family and friends are invited back to Winterfold,the family home. Part 1 sets the scene and introduces the individual characters who will form the backdrop to what is about to be announced. It's an intriguing start that alludes to the fact that there is clearly a bombshell about to be dropped. This introduction gave enough background to the characters to give them some life along with hints of secrets of their own that certainly left me wa On the occasion of Martha Winters' 80th birthday all the family and friends are invited back to Winterfold,the family home. Part 1 sets the scene and introduces the individual characters who will form the backdrop to what is about to be announced. It's an intriguing start that alludes to the fact that there is clearly a bombshell about to be dropped. This introduction gave enough background to the characters to give them some life along with hints of secrets of their own that certainly left me wanting to read more. My main critisism would be that it is written in a serialized format, not something I am a fan of. I wanted to know what happened next without waiting for what turned out to be monthly installments. No problem if you come to the serialization late, but in all honesty I'd have to read Part 1 again before starting Part 2. The good news however is that A Place for Us is to be published as a complete book. The Kindle edition is due on 15th Jan 2015, so I would recommend waiting until then, especially as it is also cheaper than buying the individual parts.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Book-shelf Shelf

    A mixture of old and young characters, who all have a story tell about there family, or to be more precise daisy the daughter who left her own baby daughter and emigrated to india. The story pulls you in and its hard to stop reading, the characters flow into each other well and talk of previous years and current time with out being confusing. There is a really mystery in this story and it got to an amazing climax .... and then finished I need part 2 I have a real feeling of needing to read the s A mixture of old and young characters, who all have a story tell about there family, or to be more precise daisy the daughter who left her own baby daughter and emigrated to india. The story pulls you in and its hard to stop reading, the characters flow into each other well and talk of previous years and current time with out being confusing. There is a really mystery in this story and it got to an amazing climax .... and then finished I need part 2 I have a real feeling of needing to read the second part to find out the whys and hows of the climax it really left me on the edge of my seat.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    This was a preapproved book that I thought I'd read. It was just OK, I enjoyed that many narratives and characters in the book but I found the story predictable and knew what was coming to a degree. I would say it was interesting characters though, especially Florence lol she intrigued me most. Overall an OK read but not brilliant. This was a preapproved book that I thought I'd read. It was just OK, I enjoyed that many narratives and characters in the book but I found the story predictable and knew what was coming to a degree. I would say it was interesting characters though, especially Florence lol she intrigued me most. Overall an OK read but not brilliant.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jackie White

    First in a series of 4, I think you can also buy as an entire book but I didn’t realise this when I downloaded the four parts in separate books. Part 1 is really just a taster, introducing Martha Winter & her extensive complicated family one by one. Martha is approaching 80 and invites all of them back to the family home Winterfold for a birthday party.....but it looks like she also wants to make an announcement about a family secret....part one only hints at what this might be. Onto Part 2 to f First in a series of 4, I think you can also buy as an entire book but I didn’t realise this when I downloaded the four parts in separate books. Part 1 is really just a taster, introducing Martha Winter & her extensive complicated family one by one. Martha is approaching 80 and invites all of them back to the family home Winterfold for a birthday party.....but it looks like she also wants to make an announcement about a family secret....part one only hints at what this might be. Onto Part 2 to find out more but l’m expecting good things!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Also posted on This Chick Reads *Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review* Book serialisations seems to be very IN these days, don't you think? Is it marketing or the author's idea of keeping up the suspense, I don't know but it has proved to be a very smart move. 'A Place for Us Part 1' is the first in what will be a four part series and which will be released as a complete novel in January 2015. This installment is not only the first part, but it's actually the first work by Ms Also posted on This Chick Reads *Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review* Book serialisations seems to be very IN these days, don't you think? Is it marketing or the author's idea of keeping up the suspense, I don't know but it has proved to be a very smart move. 'A Place for Us Part 1' is the first in what will be a four part series and which will be released as a complete novel in January 2015. This installment is not only the first part, but it's actually the first work by Ms Evans I've ever read, though I've been hearing people praising her writing. I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to read this one, and let me tell you, it's fantastic! It tells the story about Martha Winter who decides to throw a big party for her 80th Birthday. Most of the family (and they are a rather big family) will be there as well as the people from surrounding since the Winters are very popular and respected. However, the reason for this party is not just to celebrate Martha's Birthday, seems she wants to gather the whole family to reveal something she's been keeping it a secret for so many years. Naturally, some of the members of the family are surprised, some haven't even been in contact for quite some time. What is the purpose of this big reunion, that's what all they'd like to know. But Martha is wise and will reveal that when the moment is right. First off, I simply adore family dramas which revolve around big family secrets. Ms Evans perfectly manages to portray one very peculiar family, whose members are so different. Though they've fallen apart throughout the years, there are many strong bonds that tie them and their future together. Honestly, I couldn't put this book down. It's short yet not the easiest book to read, but it's complexity and many characters shouldn't be something to worry you. The copy I've been sent even came with a family tree, which was a great thing and sure made things easier for me. But listen, once you get into the story and get to know these characters, you'll know how to distinguish one family member from the other. I really don't know how Ms Evans managed to develop each and one of them, making them seem so real for the readers, but she did it! Hats off! The writing is beautiful, rich and unique. Ms Evans certainly has a knack for keeping us all in suspense, while gradually building it till BOOM, you're simply blown away by the outcome. It's cleverly written book with events you won't be able to predict. There are many nail biting scenes, especially the ending...which yes, is a huge cliff hanger but in my opinion, was THE BEST way to end this installment. Completely mind blowing, insanely gripping, 'A Place For Us Part 1' is a smashing start of this series. I strongly recommend it to everyone, especially those who love gripping reads about deep, dark, family secrets. You're in for a treat, I'm telling you.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pearl

    A Place for Us (Part One) written by Harriet Evans for me was an exceptional read filled with unforgettable characters and fantastic writing throughout. The actual story is based on one family and their many secrets and lies throughout and this is one book now I have finished part one I am greedily waiting for the next chapter in the lives of the winter family. Through the author's wonderful descriptions each member of the large family are brought alive and I was immediately enthralled with such A Place for Us (Part One) written by Harriet Evans for me was an exceptional read filled with unforgettable characters and fantastic writing throughout. The actual story is based on one family and their many secrets and lies throughout and this is one book now I have finished part one I am greedily waiting for the next chapter in the lives of the winter family. Through the author's wonderful descriptions each member of the large family are brought alive and I was immediately enthralled with such a family who were as different as chalk is to cheese but connecting each of them with an invisible thread was Martha a talented artist in her own right and her husband David also an artist who was not only famous for his cartoons in a well-known paper which included Daisy and her dog Wilbur. The cartoon figure was named after Martha and David’s wild daughter Daisy who is in-fact the daughter who seems to be the dreaded family member who other family members treat like the social misfit. Daisy is a mystery in her own right, and when all family members receive an invitation from Martha inviting each of them to her eightieth birthday party as she has a very important announcement to make. As each invitation arrives at each of their homes far and wide they narrate their own lives and how their life is really not continuing the way Martha really believes they are, therefore Martha is not the only one holding back secrets. David also has his own massive secrets which I know will be a major part of the story, the difference in David is his secrets relate back to the time of the Second World War when London was being bombarded with bombs, David with his talent for drawing was able to bring the many memories he had of his time alive with a stroke of his pen and through his pictures he brought his memories alive and those looking at them soon realised what horrors he witnessed. As the village of Winterfold calls the family back home how will they react and what will the many consequences be when secrets are found out, and what is Martha’s secret which only David knows? So many questions the first part of this brilliant series has brought to me and personally I am sitting patiently waiting for part two in this very exciting book as for me personally if the next chapters holds such exceptional storytelling as part one contained I know I am in for an exciting read. A Place for Us (Part One) written by Harriet Evans for me was a fantastic read which I thoroughly enjoyed and I am extremely happy to recommend this brilliant read to all readers of modern day fiction laced with secrets from the past. Thank you to Net Galley for sending me the first part of this book free of charge in exchange for a honest and frank review which this is.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Louise Seraphim Reviews

    **I was offered this book to read by Netgalley in exchange for an honest and fair review** When I was auto approved on this book, I honestly wasn't sure if I would like it. It's not really the sort of book, I generally go for. Yet, I decided I would give it a go. When I started the book, I thought it was a little slow, and the characters were maybe a little older than I could relate to. I know that sounds odd, but the main 2 characters are in their 80's and for some reason, I wasn't sure if I cou **I was offered this book to read by Netgalley in exchange for an honest and fair review** When I was auto approved on this book, I honestly wasn't sure if I would like it. It's not really the sort of book, I generally go for. Yet, I decided I would give it a go. When I started the book, I thought it was a little slow, and the characters were maybe a little older than I could relate to. I know that sounds odd, but the main 2 characters are in their 80's and for some reason, I wasn't sure if I could become engrossed in the story. Well, I ignored that fear and persevered on. A lot of characters were thrown in to the book, a lot of POV's to take in and absorb. All different stories and backgrounds, all of them surrounding the main 2 and the gorgeous Winterfold house that they lived in. Winterfold is the centre of everything, the family, all of their lives. It's where Martha Winter and her husband brought their children to start a fresh life, many years ago when they had no money and many secrets. It's always been the centre of stories and home to many famous parties. The secrets are still there and have multiplied since then. Now Martha Winter is turning 80, and has requested the whole family to join her for a party and a reveal of some news. With 3 members of the family in different countries, it's tricky. Yet they all know to come, when requested. Although, they all seem to fear this announcement that will made by Martha. We are taken through all the generations of stories, not every single one of the family, but six people at the moment. It's a lot to take in, but once I knew whom everybody was, I picked up the pace easily enough. What has me gripped, is all the endless secrets intertwined in their lives. They all have their share of pain and torment, and little by little we are learning it all. I didn't enjoy all the characters but I loved all their stories and uniqueness. They were completely different from any characters I have come across in a while, and I enjoyed that! The places all over the world that the family live in, are written about beautifully and make me long to go visit. A funny little fact, once I started reading this book, I thought the surrounding places sounded familiar, I think the fictional(?) Winterfold and it's surrounding area may be where I live or very close by!! That was a pleasing little find for me, Yes little things please me. Lol. So, I'm glad I decided to read this first part in A Place For Us, I know it is 4 parts from one book, but this individual part was incredibly revealing. I am desperate to find out the rest of the story. A surprising, and enjoying read. 4 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Bentley

    Synopsis Being part of the Winter clan is something incredibly special. Equally, being part of the Winter clan can be an albatross. The Winter’s, like most families, harbour many dark secrets; stories that they have failed to share. For although they are a close family there are some things that you just keep to yourself. When Martha Winter, mother and matriarch of the family, calls all her children and grandchildren back to Winterfold, the family home, everyone is beyond curious. Hidden as an exc Synopsis Being part of the Winter clan is something incredibly special. Equally, being part of the Winter clan can be an albatross. The Winter’s, like most families, harbour many dark secrets; stories that they have failed to share. For although they are a close family there are some things that you just keep to yourself. When Martha Winter, mother and matriarch of the family, calls all her children and grandchildren back to Winterfold, the family home, everyone is beyond curious. Hidden as an excuse to celebrate Martha’s 80th birthday, the family know that there is more than meets the eye to this party. The house of Winter is about to be rocked to its very foundations. Review I love Harriet Evans. Never have I read a book by her and not been entranced and completely in love with the setting, the characters and the story. I was a little disappointed in myself that I found A Place for Us: Part One so difficult lose myself in. Don’t worry, it happened, just not as quickly as I had imagined it would. Personally, I think I initially struggled with the multi-character perspective. This is not something I usually struggle with however, what I initially saw as a detriment actually turned out to be one of the great strengths of this book. Each character became distinctive. Their foibles and problems and desires and similarities became more and more evident as the tale went on. The everyday soap opera dramas juxtapose so easily with the long standing secrets making this book all the more intriguing. The best way I can describe it is that A Place for Us is like going into the attic and finding a box of old photographs of people that look familiar that you don’t quite know. You try and piece together their story and it is only as more and more snapshots are revealed that you realise that you have an epic saga on your hands. That is what A Place for Us felt like for me. I love stories that have the ability to make me want to be part of the featured family and help uncover the shocking familial revelations. I can honestly say that I have not read a saga like that in years – possibly since the Sweet Valley Sagas released in my teenage years. Cleverly, Evans has serialised her novel which now has me chomping at the bit to read the next instalment. Well played, Harriet Evans. Well played, indeed. All four instalments of A Place for Us by Harriet Evans are available now. You can follow Harriet Evans on Twitter @HarrietEvans

  15. 5 out of 5

    Agi

    Publishing books as parts of the instalment is very popular lately and while, in my opinion, not all of them should be published in such a way, A Place for Us is a win - win as it is an amazingly good read, a read that you won't forget easily and will be waiting for the next parts to be released. Just like me. It is said in the blurb that Martha, the matriarch of the Winter family, is going to reveal a big family secret at her 80th birthday. But as we are reading further it is quickly obvious tha Publishing books as parts of the instalment is very popular lately and while, in my opinion, not all of them should be published in such a way, A Place for Us is a win - win as it is an amazingly good read, a read that you won't forget easily and will be waiting for the next parts to be released. Just like me. It is said in the blurb that Martha, the matriarch of the Winter family, is going to reveal a big family secret at her 80th birthday. But as we are reading further it is quickly obvious that it's not only Martha keeping a secret, that it's actually every single member of the family that has something to hide. But, together with all the other characters, we are left to speculate what this important announcement is going to be... So the first part works actually as a teaser. We get to know all the characters and I personally am DESPERATE to learn about their secrets. On the surface, the Winters are a happy family, with no problems at all, but it looks like there are some troubles to come and dark things to be revealed. Every chapter is told from a different family member's point of view. There aren't all of them, I think - yet. It is great to learn about their lives and story told through their own eyes. All of them has something to add to the story. What surprised me was the fact that actually no member of the family is too keen to come back for Martha's birthday, while they all hinted so gladly that they enjoyed their years and times at Winterfold - are the problems so big? Are the differences too big to overcome? We don't have a big chance to get to know the characters too well, but right now I developed a liking to Cat and Luce mostly. There is something in Martha that I'd rather stay away from this woman but it's just my feeling and everything can change with the next parts! I can't say that there is a lot of action, that there happens a lot, but the tensions, drama and secrets are palpable enough to make this book a gripping, interesting read. The writing style is very nice and easy and you can feel that there is really something big going to happen. Part 1 has of course ended with a cliff - hanger and I am really desperate to read the next parts of the book. I felt like crying out loud NO WAY when the book ended and left me with so many questions. Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fabulous Book Fiend

    Review: wow, this really packs a punch for the first part of a novel. The characters, the setting, the storyline-you get just as much from this little snippet as you would do from the whole thing! You are dumped right into the action with some mysterious goings on in the Winter household. It's not just the heads of the household that are involved though, more and more and more characters keep being introduced, and all of them seems to have some sort of secret to hide or some sort of tragedy lomi Review: wow, this really packs a punch for the first part of a novel. The characters, the setting, the storyline-you get just as much from this little snippet as you would do from the whole thing! You are dumped right into the action with some mysterious goings on in the Winter household. It's not just the heads of the household that are involved though, more and more and more characters keep being introduced, and all of them seems to have some sort of secret to hide or some sort of tragedy loming over them. The novella is cleverly structured that the characters each get a chapter at a time and so all the information about them trickles in bit by bit, like sorting out the pieces of a jigsaw. The language in the installment is just beautiful. The words paint a perfect picture of several idyllic settings, each home to a a member of the Winter family, and yet each of those settings in marred by the secret that each of them hides. You are whisked between rural England, Paris and Florence and enter the households of families, couples and single people, all of them living in a state of suspense and a states of loneliness. Each of the characters in this novella are strong in their own way, even if the life choices they have made haven't been so strong... The matriarch of the household, Martha, seems to be the one holding them altogether, a pupeteer of sorts, and she is the lynchpin of the storyline too, in inviting them all to her 80th birthday where secrets will all be revealed. Her husband is a minor celebrity within the UK and he plays quite a minor role in this installment, although I am sure that he will really come into his own in future sections of this book. I really liked the younger members of this family and thing that they will play a big part as the story unfolds. I think that this is another great serialisation. It allows suspense to build between sections and allows you to really think about the events that have happened in one novella before the next installment comes out. It has been cleverly written though because I already feel like I have got to know that characters and got an insight and an inkling into what their secrets might be! I really enjoyed reading this novella, it felt like I'd read a full novel only without the satisfying conclusion and I definitely definitely need to read more!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I was pre-approved on Netgalley for Part one of this book in exchange for an honest review. I've only read the first part provided so be warned, this review is only based on the first part! Firstly, and most importantly, wow. Harriet Evans is a master of characterisation. Every member of her cast is distinct, intriguing, flawed but lovable; as if they were your own dysfunctional family. That's not to say that I agree with all their life choices, but you understand why they're in the situation the I was pre-approved on Netgalley for Part one of this book in exchange for an honest review. I've only read the first part provided so be warned, this review is only based on the first part! Firstly, and most importantly, wow. Harriet Evans is a master of characterisation. Every member of her cast is distinct, intriguing, flawed but lovable; as if they were your own dysfunctional family. That's not to say that I agree with all their life choices, but you understand why they're in the situation they find themselves and can empathise with all of them. Except perhaps Daisy, so far; what a bitch. The five members of the Winter family have inexorably grown apart over the years but are summoned back to their childhood home by a mysterious invitation from Martha, the matriarch of the family. She would love for them to celebrate her eightieth birthday and has an important announcement to make. Her children and two grandchildren all view this with their own cocktail of trepidation, suspicion and nostalgia. Nobodys lives are quite what they seem, or what they pretend. The suroundings for each of the characters are diverse and the language evocative, allowing you to sink into their worlds with ease rather than being clunky and trite. Winterfold is almost a character in its own right, partly familiar and welcoming and partly cold and grand, much like Martha herself. As the party draws nearer and we are afforded a glimpse into each of their lives, you start to realise that the seemingly idyllic childhood home is also full of secrets best left untold. The tangled drama of their everyday lives is heading toward a tipping point from which the family may never recover. I read this almost in one sitting, and that is no longer the norm for me! I very much hope the remaining parts live up to the beginning. I realised once I had warmed to the book enough to check out the author's bio that I already have one of ber books unread, Happily Ever After. If A Place For Us is anything to go by, that will happily keep me entertained until Part two. So far I'd definitely recommend this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn West

    *I received this as an ARC from Netgalley* This is the first part in a four part serialisatiom. The story centres around the Winter family, with each member having a voice in this initial part. Martha is planning a party and has invited all the family back to Winterfold (the family home) to celebrate her 80th birthday with her. Such a simple act it would seem but not when everyone in the family is keeping secrets. Attending the party for some would mean revealing that which they have sought to h *I received this as an ARC from Netgalley* This is the first part in a four part serialisatiom. The story centres around the Winter family, with each member having a voice in this initial part. Martha is planning a party and has invited all the family back to Winterfold (the family home) to celebrate her 80th birthday with her. Such a simple act it would seem but not when everyone in the family is keeping secrets. Attending the party for some would mean revealing that which they have sought to hide. No spoilers here however! Harriet Evans has written realistic and interesting characters. Some of the secrets at the moment are yet to be fully explained as to why they are secrets, as families do keep things from each other for all sorts of reasons that may not always seem logical to others - the human condition etc - but this actually makes the characters more likable for me - there is a substance and credibility to them with their foibles and imperfections laid out for us as readers. The genuine affection between Martha and David is endearing, complete as it is with the realisation that the dynamics within their marriage are perhaps not quite as everyone else has always assumed. Martha's reminisces about her children are poignant as she grapples with the battle between heart and head; whilst as a mother she loves her children, she also has to recognise that Daisy has not perhaps been the mother she would have liked her to have been. The pace of the book is judged well - you are taken on a journey to get to know the family that is slow enough to feel as though you are getting to know each of them but not so slow that you lose interest. This ensures that you are drawn into the unfolding tale of the Winter family and left wanting Part 2 - which I most definitely do after reading this! One of the reasons that I love Netgalley is that it brings you into contact with authors with whom you otherwise may not have engaged. I am glad that I was introduced to Harriet Evans - as someone who has enjoyed authors such as Titia Sutherland and Rebecca Shaw, Harriet Evans is most definitely on a par and someone whom I will be reading in the future!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    A PLACE FOR US PART1 BY HARRIET EVANS BOOK 7 FOR MY NET GALLERY MONTH THE BLURB The FIRST of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans - you'll be desperate to read on ... The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binch A PLACE FOR US PART1 BY HARRIET EVANS BOOK 7 FOR MY NET GALLERY MONTH THE BLURB The FIRST of four exclusive part-serialisations of a A Place for Us by Harriet Evans - you'll be desperate to read on ... The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day. So opens A Place for Us by Sunday Times bestselling author Harriet Evans, a book you'll dive into, featuring a family you'll fall in love with ... and never want to leave. If you devour Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy and have discovered Jojo Moyes, you'll be thrilled to add Harriet Evans to your collection of favourite authors. The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside. The hall is cool after the hot summer's day. The welcome is kind, and always warm. Yet something makes you suspect life here can't be as perfect as it seems. After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret. But wouldn't you pay any price to have a glorious place like this? Welcome to Winterfold. Martha Winter's family is finally coming home. WHAT I SAY This is the first part of a four part story .It a very good read full of mystery it just makes you want to read the next instalment which i got to say i did read part 2 straight after . In this part 1 we get to meet all the Winter family i think they got a few secrets to hide each chapter is told by a family member we hear their story about their life it full of tension and drama . It written beautifully Harriet describes their life's so well each family member story all link together so well The book base on them all coming back home for Martha 80th birthday she sent out invitations saying she got a announce to make we hear about each member of the family member getting it in the post how the react to it and why the left i sure we got more family to show up this part of the book is just getting to know the family The cliffhanger at the end was just fab i could not wait to read the next part to see what happens next I did find it a bit slow but i did enjoy read it 3 stars Ok read borrow i wouldn't read again I like to thank net gallery for letting me read this book

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty & Erin Muir

    Firstly a massive thank you to Lizzie Masters at Headline for sending this over to me and inviting me to be part of this books journey! This is the first part in Harriet Evans’ new serialised novel. I’ve only read one other Harriet Evans book and I remember completely falling in love with the two main characters and her writing so I couldn’t wait to start. I was lucky enough to be sent the paperback with a whole host of gorgeous goodies and invited to view a copy on NetGalley so my PB will remai Firstly a massive thank you to Lizzie Masters at Headline for sending this over to me and inviting me to be part of this books journey! This is the first part in Harriet Evans’ new serialised novel. I’ve only read one other Harriet Evans book and I remember completely falling in love with the two main characters and her writing so I couldn’t wait to start. I was lucky enough to be sent the paperback with a whole host of gorgeous goodies and invited to view a copy on NetGalley so my PB will remain pristine! The story is all about Martha and her family and all of their secrets. 80 year old Martha decides to invite everyone home to celebrate her 80th birthday and to reveal a family secret. A family secret which the family members then start to get in a bit of a tizzy over! Intriguing. That is the perfect word to describe this 1st part in A Place for Us. Very intriguing! I started to read the story after seeing some other bloggers praising it on twitter so I knew to expect a good read. The story is told from all of the characters in the family, centring on Martha and the impact that she has had on their lives, and how they perceive her impact on the lives of the other members of the family. I liked this start to the story, building up the setting and the scene and giving you an insight into everyone’s lives. I felt like they all had two major things in common which were also very interesting. Firstly is a secret. They all get a bit worried about the secret that’s about to be revealed as they all appear to have secrets of their own. Secondly, is a sense that they don’t really fit in. I like how that is common with a few of the characters but they all have this tie with Martha which links them to Winterfold. Each character is unique and has their own story to enjoy. I’m looking forward to seeing how their characters develop and how their stories continue to intertwine throughout the other parts in the series. This first installment is left on a massive, huge cliff hanger so I’m already eagerly anticipating the next part!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    Jane Hunt Writer First Steps Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+ Although series are very popular, I'm not sure the format is ideal for this story. Women's fiction serials are not a new concept. They were popular in women's magazines in the late sixties and seventies. Magazine serials had a week's gap between instalments. These stories have approximately a month. Many readers will struggle to remember where they are in the story with any clarity especial Jane Hunt Writer First Steps Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+ Although series are very popular, I'm not sure the format is ideal for this story. Women's fiction serials are not a new concept. They were popular in women's magazines in the late sixties and seventies. Magazine serials had a week's gap between instalments. These stories have approximately a month. Many readers will struggle to remember where they are in the story with any clarity especially since it ends before any notable action takes place. Martha sends her widely scattered family a cryptic invitation to her eightieth birthday party. The multi points of view give the reader important insight into each character's conflicts and emotions. The disparity between the family's public persona and the reality of lies and secrets makes interesting reading. Not only do they hide the truth from outsiders they also keep secrets from each other. The characters are well written; full of flaws, which make them memorable. In most cases the characters have at least one or two redeeming features. The ethos of this story is essentially sad. Most of the characters regret their major life choices and wish they'd chosen differently. Martha wonders if the decision to buy 'Winterfold' and all that it entailed was worth the sacrifices. Slow paced and lacking in action; part 1 introduces the characters, the reason for their reunion and its possible consequences. I am interested to see what happens next. I received a copy of this book from Headline via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Harriet Evans

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    A Place for Us has been broken down into a four part series for e-book readers although I understand that the entire story will be released at a later date. The story revolves around the Winter family from Winterfold. It is approaching Martha's birthday and each family member has received an invite which states that there will be an important announcement......intriguing!!! Each chapter tells the story from a different member of the family so we, as readers get to know who they are, and some of t A Place for Us has been broken down into a four part series for e-book readers although I understand that the entire story will be released at a later date. The story revolves around the Winter family from Winterfold. It is approaching Martha's birthday and each family member has received an invite which states that there will be an important announcement......intriguing!!! Each chapter tells the story from a different member of the family so we, as readers get to know who they are, and some of their backgrounds. The most intriguing character is Daisy who appears to be the troubled black sheep of the family. I think we will learn much more about her in the remaining parts, and I definitely want to know more about her. I also really liked the character of Cat and feel like she has alot more to give as well. I liked the story more as I got further in to it. I haven't read of Harriet Evan's books before so was new to her style of writing, but I liked it. I found it very descriptive and easy to follow. I am not a big fan of books being serialised as I feel that by breaking it up it loses some momentum. I have to admit that this has affected me with this book. It took me a while to get into the storyline, and with so many characters I felt like it has taken me most of the first part to get to know who they are. Just as I was really starting to get into it it ended. I have a mind like a sieve that I fear by the time I start the second part I will have forgotten sections or even worse, most of what happened in this one. I hope readers won't lose momentum by having it broken into four parts. That said, I will be reading the next part ASAP as I can't wait to see what happens next, and what Martha's big announcement will be. I imagine it will rock the family...... Thank you to Headline who provided a copy of the book via Netgalley in return for a honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paris Baker

    I would like to start by thanking Headline Publishing for approving me for a review copy on Net Galley, in return for an honest review. This review is for Part One in the four-part serialisation. We are introduced to the Winter family and the family homestead of Winterfold, with chapters told from each different person’s point of view. Martha Winter is the Mother & Grandmother, the pillar of the family that has always done her best to keep everyone together. But she has a secret, and it’s time for I would like to start by thanking Headline Publishing for approving me for a review copy on Net Galley, in return for an honest review. This review is for Part One in the four-part serialisation. We are introduced to the Winter family and the family homestead of Winterfold, with chapters told from each different person’s point of view. Martha Winter is the Mother & Grandmother, the pillar of the family that has always done her best to keep everyone together. But she has a secret, and it’s time for everyone to know. She invites the family to her 80th birthday party, with note that a special announcement will be made… This first part is really about setting up the main story and introducing the characters. It is slow moving, but it somehow feels appropriate when reading it, rather than dragged out. We hear about each member of the Winter family in turn, about beautiful childhoods spent growing up in Winterfold and their close-knit relationships. But now, they are all grown up and living their (very separate) lives. While they clearly care for one another, and remember their childhoods fondly, things have obviously changed, and it seems like everyone has their fair share of secrets, not just Martha. Not much happens in the way of the main storyline at all, but I think with the book being serialised, Evans takes this opportunity to really set up the back story and get you to know each character. Normally, the absence of any major story advancement might annoy me, or feel like it was lacking something, but Evans really pulls this off well. The tension builds steadily but surely throughout the book, and with so many lies, secrets and half-truths, all barely more than hinted at, it really keeps you gripped. The only real reveal is made right at the very end; leaving you open-mouthed and begging for the next instalment! I’m giving it four, lovely stars for now, and I’m hopeful it has every potential to move up to five with the upcoming releases.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Originally posted on:> http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot.... I truly think it was a brilliant idea to make A Place for Us into a four part series. If part one is anything to go by, the next three parts are going to be amazing! Part One introduces us to all the characters surrounding and linked to the Winter family. Each chapter is written from a different character's point of view and as I reiterate in every review where a book does this, I love it! It makes you feel that you are truly getting Originally posted on:> http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot.... I truly think it was a brilliant idea to make A Place for Us into a four part series. If part one is anything to go by, the next three parts are going to be amazing! Part One introduces us to all the characters surrounding and linked to the Winter family. Each chapter is written from a different character's point of view and as I reiterate in every review where a book does this, I love it! It makes you feel that you are truly getting every aspect of the story and I think it's so intelligent when an author does this as you see how the characters all link back to one another and intertwine. Not only this, Harriet as written each of the characters and their stories so differently and so well, you forget that they have each been written and made up from one author; they are just so beautifully complex and so well developed. It is so easy to put yourself in each of their shoes and empathise with their part of the story. Harriet Evans writes so beautifully. The way she describes everything and the words she uses instantly draw you in and carry you seamlessly throughout the story. I just kept wanting to read on and on the occasions I had to put it down, I instantly wanted to pick it up again. I am not going to talk to much about the story, but we start with Martha Winter inviting everyone for a get together and on the invitation she says that she has something to announce. As you read, this is always at the back of your mind and as you learn more about the other characters you start to think that there may be even more secrets that need to come to light. The last page has had me absolutely dying to read to part two! Way to leave a cliffhanger!!! I don't know how I will able to wait that long to find out more!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    It's difficult to rate a novel when you are only given the first part but based on my impressions that this first book really was not a story but more of a coming together of a family for the 80th birthday of the matriarch Martha and an exercise in setting the scene and building atmosphere. This first part concentrates on the individual characters and members of Martha's family to build tension and drama leading up to a secret that it appears they are all somehow involved in. Each chapter deals It's difficult to rate a novel when you are only given the first part but based on my impressions that this first book really was not a story but more of a coming together of a family for the 80th birthday of the matriarch Martha and an exercise in setting the scene and building atmosphere. This first part concentrates on the individual characters and members of Martha's family to build tension and drama leading up to a secret that it appears they are all somehow involved in. Each chapter deals with a member of the family having received an invitation to the party where an 'announcement' will be made and the reader along with the family are left trying to guess what this announcement could be. We are given little snippets of information about Daisy who appears to have been a rather difficult child and so perhaps the announcement has something to do with her. However as each family member is introduced we discover they all have their own secrets and any one of these could be to do with the announcement that Martha so tantalisingly will reveal at the party celebrations. The first part of this book is a slow burner, nothing really happens in terms of the story but it nicely builds the tension and atmosphere for what hopefully happens in the second and remaining parts of the novel. I feel sufficiently intrigued to want to discover more about this family and their secrets and would like to read the other 3 parts before making a final judgement. However based on this first part I would say this is building nicely and if the rest of the book maintains the tension and drama I feel that this could be a very good read especially if there are a couple of curve balls and an unpredictable ending. I look forward to reading more - for now I would give this a 4 star rating. I would like to thank the punisher for ending this in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    This is the first part of a four part novel which is published between July and October 2014. If you don't like having to wait for the conclusion of a story I suggest buying all four parts before you start reading part one! In this episode, the reader is introduced to the characters and some of their back story but we are left wondering about precisely what it is that Martha wants to announce at her eightieth birthday party which will tear her family apart. I felt there were just too many charact This is the first part of a four part novel which is published between July and October 2014. If you don't like having to wait for the conclusion of a story I suggest buying all four parts before you start reading part one! In this episode, the reader is introduced to the characters and some of their back story but we are left wondering about precisely what it is that Martha wants to announce at her eightieth birthday party which will tear her family apart. I felt there were just too many characters in this episode to really assimilate. There is Martha and her husband, their three children and their significant others and their own offspring plus a few other people who are clearly going to play a bigger part in the rest of the story. I kept wanting to shout 'too much information'! All the characters have secrets both past and present and it looks as though the conclusion is going to be earth shattering when it finally comes. I liked some of the characters - Bill, the doctor for example, though I didn't take to his wife, Karen. I didn't like Daisy's daughter, Cat and thought she was bit flaky to say the least. I was intrigued by Florence and want to know more about her. This is the sort of book where you almost need to read with pencil and paper in hand so that you can jot down notes about the characters for future reference. I am sufficiently interested to read the rest of it but I think I shall wait until I can read all four parts straight through. I'm sure Harriet Evans' many fans will love it as will anyone who loves family sagas. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    An intriguing start to a novel which has all the hallmarks of being a brilliant novel, I have now got the full novel lined up for reading. Told from the points of views of various characters we are promised secrets within the Winter family from the very first chapter. It is Martha’s 80th birthday and she has decided the time is right to tell everyone the secrets that she cannot bear anymore. And so it is that various members of the family receive a formal invitation to her birthday celebration. But An intriguing start to a novel which has all the hallmarks of being a brilliant novel, I have now got the full novel lined up for reading. Told from the points of views of various characters we are promised secrets within the Winter family from the very first chapter. It is Martha’s 80th birthday and she has decided the time is right to tell everyone the secrets that she cannot bear anymore. And so it is that various members of the family receive a formal invitation to her birthday celebration. But there are more secrets than even she knows. Karen, her daughter in law, married to her son Bill, anticipates the party with nothing like pleasure. Florence, whose invite coincides with a shocking revelation. Cat, the granddaughter, whose invite makes her think about home, a place she hasn’t returned to in years and family, people she can’t possibly begin to explain the intervening years to. Lucy, the other granddaughter, a budding journalist may have promised the one thing she can’t deliver. Hints are given to some of the secrets and more are promised but this first part of the novel makes it quite clear that this will be a book that will keep the reader’s interest as more secrets are uncovered and I for one cannot wait to read more about the Winter family as this first part has outlined the characters and made them people I want to know more about and the secrets that are going to be uncovered will surely be drip-fed and bound together in such a way that will entice and tease the reader into wanting more. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    When I received an email from NetGalley pre-approving me to read and review part 1 of this novel I was SO excited! I am ashamed to say this is the first novel by Harriet Evans that I have read, although I have had a lot of her books on my wish list for a long time! Reading this book has made them my next purchase, I fell instantely in love with her writing style and can't wait to read more. Martha and David live in a lovely old house in Winterfold and have for years, they have had three children When I received an email from NetGalley pre-approving me to read and review part 1 of this novel I was SO excited! I am ashamed to say this is the first novel by Harriet Evans that I have read, although I have had a lot of her books on my wish list for a long time! Reading this book has made them my next purchase, I fell instantely in love with her writing style and can't wait to read more. Martha and David live in a lovely old house in Winterfold and have for years, they have had three children there, Bill, Daisy and Florence, but Bill is the only one that still lives in the village, Daisy and Florence have both now moved abroad. Will all of the children return to Winterfold when they are invited back for Martha’s 80th birthday party? This is where Martha will reveal a secret. I loved how each chapter in the book is about each character and their lives, this gives us an insight into each character straight away and helps us to develop relationships with them. We learn through this that Martha is not the only person that has a secret, each character has something they wish to keep hidden. The way Harriet has written this book shows how talented a writer she is, she draws you into the novel straight away and I hate that this is only part 1 as I just wanted to read on and on! Harriet has opened this story in such an intriguing way that makes you have to carry on reading. I can’t wait to find out how the characters develop and the story continues. A Place for Us Part 1 is published on 31st August 2014, you can pre-order on Amazon now.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This is Part 1 of a book to be published in full in January 2015. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of reading by instalments – mainly because I have a memory like a sieve and it’s likely that I will have forgotten the story before I come to read the next part. I would much rather read a complete book in one go. Winterfold sounds an idyllic family home but the Winter family has been fractured for a long time. When Martha Winter, the matriarch sends out 80th birthday invitations to her family – This is Part 1 of a book to be published in full in January 2015. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of reading by instalments – mainly because I have a memory like a sieve and it’s likely that I will have forgotten the story before I come to read the next part. I would much rather read a complete book in one go. Winterfold sounds an idyllic family home but the Winter family has been fractured for a long time. When Martha Winter, the matriarch sends out 80th birthday invitations to her family – informing them that an ‘important announcement’ will be made, the family are left wondering what is in store. With each chapter narrated by a different family member, we can begin to get to know them and a little of their background and we learn why most of them choose to stay away. Although this first part could be a little slow in places whilst the family were being introduced and their back story partly told, secrets are hinted at and the drama is building. None of the characters have yet really grabbed my attention or sympathy however perhaps once a bit more is known, I may feel differently. There are quite a few characters (including children and grand-children) to get to grips with and it can be confusing, however once I had it clear in my head who each person was related to, I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to the rest. Part 1 ended on a cliffhanger – I am now looking forward to reading Part 2 at the end of August!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kerry Bridges

    Martha and David Winter extend a warm welcome to Winterfold; to their family, friends and to the inhabitants of the local area. But Winterfold holds many secrets and the Winter family itself holds more than any other. On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Martha will bring them all home to roost... I am not sure that I like the idea of serialising a novel, I mean, you're going to have to read all the parts anyway, so why split it up? Having read the first part of "A Place for Us", the opinion has Martha and David Winter extend a warm welcome to Winterfold; to their family, friends and to the inhabitants of the local area. But Winterfold holds many secrets and the Winter family itself holds more than any other. On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Martha will bring them all home to roost... I am not sure that I like the idea of serialising a novel, I mean, you're going to have to read all the parts anyway, so why split it up? Having read the first part of "A Place for Us", the opinion has not changed - indeed it has strengthened if anything. There are quite a few characters in the book and this part seems to be introducing them all to the reader. The book has been written from multiple points of view, but these are refreshingly clearly marked and it is very obvious who is speaking. Obviously, as an introduction, this was bound to be bitty, but I did warm to all the characters and look forward to hearing more about them in later parts. I am not really quite sure what genre of book this is supposed to be since not enough has yet happened. All the family appear to have secrets, some are revealed and some not, but the one at the end of this part which I think was a cliffhanger, was completely obvious to me from the beginning, so I will be interested to see where that goes. All in all, I would like to read the next part, but I think the story will need to move on quite a lot more quickly for me to stay interested.

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