A death in the family rarely brings out the best in people – even the deceased.

Jonathan Coulter planned for his death meticulously, leaving nothing to chance. His will states that his three adult children must decide between them how to dispose of his estate. If they cannot come together over their inheritance, then they risk losing it.

But Liv, Noah and Chloe never agree on anything. And now, with only one weekend to overcome their rivalry, tensions begin to rise.

Why has Jonathan left the decision to them? And why has he made no mention of his new partner, Megan, or the children’s mother, Eloise? If he wanted to teach them a lesson from beyond the grave, what is it? And can the siblings put their differences aside for long enough to learn it?

A powerful novel about love and loss, and what we truly pass on to our children. 

My Review

Jonathan Coulter is dying, having lived with Motor Neuron Disease for a number of years. He has three grown-up children, three grandchildren, an ex-wife Eloise and a new partner who he left his wife for and she is half his age.

Partner Megan lives with Jonathan, but he has a carer called Lisa and youngest daughter Chloe also lives at The View – the Coulter’s’ family home in Scarborough. Megan and Chloe barely speak – both would prefer that they didn’t have to live together.

When Jonathan dies, they discover that the will is not what they expected. Jonathan has left the three children to decide who inherits what. And Megan and ex-wife Eloise are not included, but Lisa gets £5,000. They are horrified by Lisa’s inheritance, though I didn’t really understand why – after all she nursed him right up to the end.

They have one weekend to make a decision, but it’s not going to be easy as Liv, Noah and Chloe don’t get on. They can never agree about anything, so it’s going to get interesting.

This book is a very slow burn and it took me until the very end to realise the point of the will or in fact the point of the whole story. There are a few reveals along the way, but don’t expect any major twists and turns. It’s not that kind of book. This is about love, loss and finally finding oneself in the face of grief and adversity.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, the author and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read. 

About the Author

Caroline Bond was born at the seaside and still feels happiest when walking into a headwind with the prospect of fish and chips on the near horizon. She had a fulfilling career in research before becoming a writer.

Her debut, The Second Child, was inspired, in part, by her experiences working with, and raising, a disabled child. Her second, The Forgotten Sister, reflects her belief that our life chances are hugely impacted by our upbringings. Her third, One Split Second, explores guilt and forgiveness.

She is a slow, but tenacious runner and not a bad cook.

She prefers red to white wine.

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