There were two houses on a property that had been in their family for nearly sixty years. The front doors faced each other, with a two-hundred-foot-long driveway between them. Close enough to tell if someone was home, far enough away to not see into the windows.
When Laurie, Chris and Penny’s father dies, what happens with the Family Compound will be decided through the will. Siblings Halsey and William have their own ideas of what to do with the land, even if their cousins outnumber them. The will throws them all in a bind. Laurie always assumed with the majority, it was going to be her brother, sister and she who had the biggest decision making powers. Naturally, she and Chris are the only Nolans who have real “careers”, and the place isn’t cheap to upkeep. Maintenance is just the beginning of their business problems and the estate funds have dwindled. The rub? The will states they must all agree on any decision that is made, and without money time is of the essence.
Keeping the home means they all must equally contribute, but with unequal earnings, it seems unfair to pay the same amount. Especially if you aren’t working at all. Halsey has plans to stay there forever, it was her grandfather’s favorite place on earth. It radiates family memories, her family. She has never worked, but she knows how to manage things, if not her own failed marriage, but she is a great mother. She hates how her successful cousin Laurie condescends. Laurie is resentful of what she sees as laziness, she and Chris are not about to carry their sister Penny nor cousins Halsey and William, no matter how fond they are of their home. Why should they deal with the financial problems enabling the lifestyles the other three lead? Penny is a fragile mess, with her own complicated drama, always feeling like she is in the middle- forced into the role of tiebreaker. It’s too much pressure. William just wants to focus on his yogi plans, his Instagram followers but he doesn’t want to sell, he is on Halsey’s side. Halsey’s entire life is there, there is nowhere else in the entire world she plans on raising her son Miles. There is a split, but it’s not going to be easy as all their personal lives start unraveling, worse, they are all drifting further apart. Truth be told, none of them are close anymore.
Money and death do strange things to people, live long enough and most of us learn this, sadly it can get ugly. Each of the Nolans feel critical of each other and are hardest on themselves. They hide who they are, run off, deny the truth, and feud; all so they can avoid the critical eyes of their family. Can they truly be diplomatic when there is so much judgement? Laurie and Chris feel superior, with their luxurious lives but are the others less? Penny is an interesting character, lost. But are Chris and Laurie as perfect as they appear? Halsey can be just as self-righteous in her resentment of the power Laurie has. William, for some reason didn’t take up as much space in the novel for me. Can this family come together? Is it possible to make a decision that lets them all win? I thought the ending was good and the characters issues with each other seem realistic. The will is a clever set up, one that demands family communicate. A decent read for those who love family drama.
Publication Date: August 23, 2022 Available Today
Lake Union Publishing